President Trump said Sunday he’s interested in making a deal with ExxonMobil or another producer to tap Syrian oil reserves, Kallanish Energy reports.
“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,” he said.
Trump has identified Syria’s oil as a U.S. national security priority and has committed to deploying troops to protect the country’s reserves even as he pulls troops from Syria’s northern regions.
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the U.S. will send in troops to protect Syrian oilfields from Islamic State militants, Reuters reported.
Trump has faced criticism from both Republicans and Democrats, who have accused the President of abandoning an American ally by pulling troops from the Syrian-Turkish border region.
The withdrawal cleared the way for a Turkish military operation against the Kurds, U.S. allies in the fight against the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS.
“The oil is so valuable, for many reasons,” Trump said Sunday. “It fueled ISIS, number one. Number two, it helps the Kurds – because it’s basically been taken away from the Kurds … And, number three, it can help us, because we should be able to take some also.”
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