Having sent growing numbers of troops into eastern Syria explicitly to control the oil, President Trump now says he is seeking a deal with Exxon Mobil or “one of our great companies” to go into occupied Syria and take the oil.
“What I intend to do, perhaps, is make a deal with an ExxonMobil or one of our great companies to go in there and do it properly…and spread out the wealth,”the president said on Sunday.
Trump has long suggested that in his view, the US should be able to just take oil from countries it is involved in militarily, as a way to recover some of the costs of his various wars. Trump said on Sunday that the oil is valuable and “we should be able to take some also.”
That Trump is sold on this idea is one thing, but convincing a US Oil and Gas Major to go along with the operation is another thing. The legal basis, particularly internationally, of taking Syrian oil without Syrian permission, and keeping US military forces there to keep Syria from stopping them, is going to be complicated, to say the least.
Trump’s conviction that legally it’s probably fine, after all, doesn’t mean the US company, whichever it turns out to be, wouldn’t get sued in the US or internationally for looting Syria’s oil.