Assad says US selling stolen Syrian oil to Turkey
In comment on what happens to oil produced from the wells to the east of the Euphrates, Assad said "now America is the one stealing oil and selling it to Turkey."
The Syrian leader noted that before the Americans, the Jabhat al-Nusra and later the Islamic State (terror groups, outlawed in Russia) used these wells. "The Turkish regime plays a direct part in selling the oil, previously with al-Nusra, later with ISIS and today with the Americans," Assad said.
In late October, US President Donald Trump declared plans to withdraw US forces from northern Syria where Turkey was carrying out an operation. However, he said Washington would keep control over oil fields in northeastern Syria.
The Russian Defense Ministry stated that Washington was smuggling Syrian oil to other countries, and the convoys were under protection of US private military companies and special ops units.
US Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey insisted that the US presence in the region was legal and Washington sought to ensure that oil fields in northeastern Syria would not be seized by terrorists. In late November, Jeffrey emphasized that under the Syrian constitution oil belonged to the Syrian people.