The so-called Self-Administration in North and Northeast Syria had singed a deal with an U.S. oil company, the Al-Monitor reported on July 30, citing sources familiar with the matter.
One of the sources told the Washington-based outlet, that the agreement, under which the U.S. company would market oil in territory controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and modernize existing fields, was signed last week.
The source identified the company as the Delaware-based Delta Crescent Energy LLC. A license to operate in Syria was granted to the company by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, OFAC.
The SDF controls most of Syria’s oil resources. The largest oil fields, al-Rmelan and al-Omar, are both controlled by the Kurdish-led group. Around 500 U.S. troops were also deployed in northeastern Syria to “guard” these fields.
Ferhat Abdi Şahin, aka “Mazloum Abdi,” Commander-in-Chief of the SDF informed U.S. senator Lindsay Graham of the deal in a recent phone call.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also confirmed that he knew of the SDF oil deal during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee session on July 30.
“The deal took a little longer, than we had hoped, and now we’re in implementation,” Pompeo said to Graham during the session.
According to Al-Monitor, the U.S. also agreed to provide two modular refineries to the SDF. The refineries will only meet 20% of the self-administration’s needs.
Over the past few months, U.S. forces improved security at all major oil fields in northeastern Syria. Hundreds of experienced SDF personnel were recruited and trained by the U.S. to help guard these fields.
The SDF-U.S. deal is illegal as it was not approved by the legitimate government in Damascus. The deal could have a disastrous effect on government-held areas in Syria, which purchase fuel from the SDF.