Damascus denounces oil agreement between Kurds and US company

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Damascus on Sunday denounced an agreement concluded between a US oil company and the Kurds who control northeast Syria, fragmented by war, accusing them of “theft” and an attack on the country’s sovereignty.

The vast majority of the oil fields in the east and northeast of the country are still outside the control of Damascus and are mainly managed by the Kurds, supported by US troops.

Neither the semi-autonomous Kurdish administration nor the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDS) have made any communication on this agreement, while in Washington, officials confirmed an agreement “to modernize the oil fields of northeast Syria”, without providing further details.

The Syrian foreign ministry denounced an “agreement signed by the SDS militias and a US oil company to steal Syrian oil (…) with the support of the US administration,” in a statement quoted by the official Sana news agency.

The text denounces “an agreement between thieves who steal and thieves who buy”, considering it “as an attack on Syrian sovereignty”.

The statement also castigates “the US approach hostile to Syria: stealing the wealth of the Syrian people and blocking the state’s efforts for reconstruction.”

On Thursday, during a hearing in the US Congress in Washington, Senator Lindsey Graham claimed to have discussed the agreement with the commander in chief of the SDS, Mazlum Abdi.

“They have apparently signed an agreement with a US company in the sector to modernize the oil fields in northeast Syria,” he said.

The head of American diplomacy, Mike Pompeo, confirmed Washington’s support. “The deal took longer than expected. We are now in the process of getting it started.”

burx-tgg / feb / age / mb

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