Turkey slams US over oil deal with YPG in Syria

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Turkey has slammed the United States for a deal inked between Delta Crescent Energy LLC and the YPG-led SDF over the Syrian oil reserves in the east of Euphrates, dubbing the move as sponsoring the terrorism.

“We deeply regret the U.S. support to this step, disregarding international law, violating territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty of Syria, as well as being considered within the scope of financing terrorism,” Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement on Aug 3.

“This act, which cannot be justified by any legitimate motive, is utterly unacceptable,” it added.

Turkey’s reaction came after some media reports emerged on a deal brokered between the YPG-led SDF and the Delta Crescent Energy LLC for the modernization of the oil wells in the east of Euphrates, which are currently under the control of the YPG/PKK. Processing crude oil and marketing the products are also part of the deal.

It is believed the oil revenues, YPG generates from the oil reserves, will increase as the capacity of the reserves will be increased. The YPG is estimated to gain around $350 million out of the Syrian oil reserves.

The U.S. had relocated its troops to the region after Turkey’s military operation into northeastern Syria, with President Donald Trump stressing that the new mission of American troops in Syria was to protect the Syrian oil reserves.

“By this step, the PKK/YPG terrorist organization has clearly demonstrated its ambition to advance its separatist agenda by seizing the natural resources of the Syrian people. The natural resources of Syria belong to the Syrian people” it added.

Syria’s foreign ministry also said on Aug. 2 that an American oil company had signed an agreement with the YPG, in what it described as an illegal deal aimed at “stealing” Syria’s crude.

Turkey and the U.S. have long been at odds over the status of the YPG/PKK in eastern Syria. Turkey recognizes the group as a terrorist organization, aiming to create its autonomous region in the east of Euphrates, while the U.S. sees it as an efficient local partner in the fight against the ISIL.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, a longtime supporter of the Syrian Kurds, told Congress on July 30 that he had spoken to YPG leader Ferhat Abdi Şahin, also known as Mazloum Kobani, about the deal. Kobani is subject of an Interpol red notice and is wanted for multiple terror attacks targeting the Turkish security forces.

When asked by Graham, if Washington was supportive of the deal, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “We are.”

The U.S. support for YPG in Syria has become one of the stumbling blocks in bilateral ties between the two NATO allies. The U.S. has long been training and providing weaponry to the YPG despite Ankara’s warnings.

The Turkish military has launched three military operations into Syria to fight ISIL and YPG militants to ensure the safety of its borders.

Hurriyet Daily News

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