October 24, 2019

Trump’s focus on protecting oil in Syria highlights an evolving U.S. mission

Featuring Nicholas Heras

Source: The Washington Post

Journalists Missy Ryan, Dan Lamothe, Kareem Fahim

President Trump on Thursday vowed that the United States would prevent the Islamic State from regaining control of oil fields in eastern Syria, emphasizing his interest in the energy assets there despite his steps to curtail the U.S. military mission in the country.

“We will NEVER let a reconstituted ISIS have those fields!” Trump said on Twitter, using an acronym for a group that the U.S. military and Syrian Kurdish forces have largely defeated. “Perhaps it is time for the Kurds to start heading to the Oil Region!”

The president has repeatedly referred to the oil-producing areas of Syria as he defends his abrupt decision to withdraw most American forces, a move that critics say has enabled a militant resurgence and endangered a battlefield ally.

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...