October 28, 2019

Trump, Pentagon Diverge on Need to Control Syrian Oil Fields

Source: U.S. News and World Report

Journalist: Paul D. Shinkman

Pentagon leaders and President Donald Trump diverged Monday on the rationale behind keeping U.S. forces in northeastern Syria, with the president renewing his insistence that the U.S. will control Syrian oil fields.

"We're keeping the oil," the president told a gathering of police chiefs in Chicago on Monday. "Remember that. I've always said that: Keep the oil. We want to keep the oil – $45 million a month. Keep the oil."

The comments stood in stark contrast with remarks just hours later by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who spoke at a press conference a day after Trump revealed the U.S. military targeted and killed Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Esper appeared testy when pressed about the U.S. reasons for pulling back from areas where they had been fighting with Kurdish troops known as the Syrian Democratic Forces and focusing instead on the president's new order of securing the Syrian oil fields.

Read the full story and more in U.S. News and World Report.


  • Nicholas Heras

    Former Fellow, Middle East Security Program

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