October 25, 2019

Trump decided to leave troops in Syria after conversations about oil, officials say

Featuring Nicholas Heras

Source: The Washington Post

Journalists Dan Lamothe, Karen DeYoung, Missy Ryan, Michael Birnbaum

President Trump was persuaded to leave at least several hundred troops behind in Syria only when he was told that his decision to pull them out would risk control of oil fields in the country’s east, according to U.S. officials.

Trump had rejected arguments that withdrawing U.S. forces would benefit American adversaries, while endangering civilians and Kurdish allies, but he tweeted Thursday that “we will NEVER let a reconstituted ISIS have those fields.”

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper confirmed on Friday that troops would remain in eastern Syria to prevent the oil fields from being retaken by the Islamic State.

Read the full story and more in The Washington Post.

Authors

  • Nicholas Heras

    Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. His work focuses on the analysis of complex confli...