The redeployment of U.S. troops near oil fields in northeast Syria is leading to “unnecessary escalation” and “tensions” in the war-torn country, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister said on November 29.
Mikhail Bogdanov told reporters that there are no ISIS terrorists in this part of Syria that the U.S. is allegedly going to repel, to protect oil fields.
“Natural resources should belong to the people and this country and, naturally, should be controlled by the legitimate government considering that all other issues should be resolved through contacts that are happening between Syrians themselves in Astana, Geneva or any other place,” the TASS news agency quoted Bogdanov as saying.
The Russian diplomat added that issues of illegal foreign military presence in Syria as well as cessation of hostilities in the country will be discussed in the upcoming Astana peace talks in Nur-Sultan on December 10.
The Pentagon had revealed that it is keeping up to 500 troops in northeast Syrian, mainly in al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor, to “guard” oil fields from ISIS remnants.
Last October, the U.S. withdrew hundreds of service members from northeast Syria to facilitate a Turkish-led attack on its own local allies, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Despite this move, the Kurdish group is still cooperating with U.S. forces, allowing them to control all major oil fields.