Claim: US "steals" crude oil from Syria.

Other sources include: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/donald-trumps-boneheaded-plan-to-steal-syrian-oil/

My question: is this action legitimate? Does the US government or the US forces give an official explanation or official denial against this claim?

My guess is that the US does not recognize the SAA, while other Syrian entities recognized by US sold oil to US, legally within their own framework, independent of SAA.

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    I don't think that USA recognizes Syrian Kurds as a sovereign state, since doing that would cause massive protests of neighbouring countries and essentially create a second case of Israel.
    – alamar
    Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 11:29
  • @alamar Good point, so my guess could be off.
    – dodo
    Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 12:25
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    This is a cross post from skeptics.se that has been heavily edited on skeptics skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/54015/…
    – Joe W
    Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 16:20
  • "is this action legitimate?" Can you maybe specify this more? Like which law system you are interested in? International, Syrian, ... Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 19:36
  • @Trilarion International is the best.
    – dodo
    Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 7:48

1 Answer 1


From the New York Times it looks like United States has deserted its pivotal Kurdish ally and ceded most of the territory the Kurds had controlled to Syria, Turkey and Russia. Washington however would remain around al-Tanf in southern Syria to guard oil fields captured by the Kurds. This is to protect these oil fields from the Islamic State, as well as from Syria and Russia. It is consistent with what also the Guardian writes.

So Kurds now control these oil fields. It is however not written anywhere that all extracted oil automatically becomes the property of the United States.

Reuters writes that this oil is exported to over 10 different countries. The exact oil export destinations have long been secret, and the oil was often funneled through Israel to avoid detection. Reuters names the place "Iraq’s semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan".

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    What is "Kurdish ally" in this context? There is no country I can think of that fits this role. Is there even an organization with a leader that the US can interface with?
    – uberhaxed
    Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 19:38
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    Says "the United States has deserted its pivotal Kurdish ally" literally so.
    – Stančikas
    Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 7:59
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    As far as I can tell from the NYT and Guardian articles, the oil fields they talk about are around Deir ez-Zor in the East Syria - this region does not border the Iraqi Kurdistan. The oil fields were also captured from ISIS in 2017. Reuters article talks about Iraq, the article is dated 2015 - how is it relevant to the question? Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 9:39
  • @uberhaxed, not all countries in the world appear on common maps. Kurdistan is one of those countries.
    – Mark
    Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 21:31
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    Whoa! what does this mean: United States has... ceded most of the territory the Kurds had controlled to Syria, Turkey. That territory is not the US's territory to decide about. One can be extremely sympathetic to the Kurds' plights - when some of their morons aren't blowing up bombs in Turkey that is - and still find it extremely concerning that a country would just carve out pieces of other countries to give to its allies. Not sure how to solve Kurdish problem but it doesn't start by the US handing them pieces of Syria and Turkey (the Iraq model, for all its flaws is a better one). Commented Dec 1, 2022 at 6:01

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