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Russia says oil deal between US firm, SDF shows Washington’s continued violation of Syria’s sovereignty

A US military armored vehicle patrols past an oil well in Rumaylan, Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah, November 6, 2019. (File photo by AFP)

Russia says an agreement signed between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and an American oil company clearly reveals Washington’s persistent violation of Syria’s sovereignty and international law.

“We express deep concern and regret about these arbitrary and unlawful actions, as well as the lack of proper response from the international community,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

On July 30 and during his testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed for the first time that an American oil company would begin work in SDF-controlled northeastern Syria.

He said at the time that the company, without mentioning its name, had secured a deal to ‘modernize’ oil fields controlled by the SDF, which is a US-backed alliance of militias that have seized swaths of Syria’s northern and eastern regions from the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group and are refusing to return control of those areas to Damascus.

Al-Monitor, citing unnamed sources, named the company in a report on the same day as Delta Crescent Energy LLC, a corporation organized under the laws of the state of Delaware, without giving further details.

Earlier this month, the Syrian government condemned the deal as a flagrant act of theft, which is carried out under the sponsorship and support of Washington. Damascus also dismissed the agreement as “null and void” that “has no legal effect.”

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry statement, the US side intends, within the framework of the deal with the SDF, to offer a pair of mobile oil refiners under the pretext of decreasing the damage to the surrounding environment.

“Moreover, the US administration has once again demonstrated obvious disregard for the UN Charter and the decisions of the Security Council and the General Assembly on infallible respect for the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria that is a UN member state,” the ministry added.

Washington has long been providing the SDF with arms and militant training, calling them a key partner in the purported fight against Daesh. Many observers, however, see the support in the context of Washington’s plot to cement its position in the Arab country in the post-Daesh era.

US President Donald Trump has openly expressed an interest in the oilfields of northeast Syria.

Washington announced a military withdrawal from Syria in December 2018, but Trump later pledged a number of US forces would remain in areas “where they have oil.”

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