WASHINGTON – Mr. Bassam Ishak, Co-Chair of the Syrian Democratic Council Representation in U.S. and President of Syriac National Council, told North Press Agency that the U.S.’ view of Syria is related to managing competing regional interests. According to Ishak, the U.S.’ policies in Syria are aimed at containing Iranian and Turkish interests in Syria and the danger these interests pose to the U.S.
“The U.S. wants to limit the Turkish and Iranian influence in Syria, Syrian oil does not matter to the U.S. economically,” Ishak added. Ishak’s statement is in direct contrast to U.S. President Trump’s repeated assertion that U.S. forces are in Syria “only for the oil”.
In the interview, Ishak stressed that, “Syrian oil does not constitute any economic importance for the U.S. However, it is important for Turkey, the Syrian regime, and Iran.”
Ishak indicated that the U.S. is trying to control the rich oil fields in North and East Syria in order to use them as leverage in long-term political negotiations with the Syrian regime, in addition to undermining Iranian and Turkish influence in Syria.
Replying to questions of North Press via e-mail about Washington’s intention to grant any licenses to other American or foreign oil-investing parties in Syria, a U.S. State Department spokesperson stated that, “U.S currently does not own or control any of the Syrian oil resources revenues. Oil resources are operated by the Autonomous Administration bodies in the areas of North and East Syria, which were liberated from ISIS.”
The State Department added, “Our partners in the Syrian Democratic Forces are using these resources to fund the operations in fighting ISIS and expanding the vital operations to restabilize the region.”