No Final Decision on US Oil Company Work in Northeast Syria

Biden’s administration has not yet made a decision about a possible sanctions exemption allowing a US company to work in Syria, report North Press.

The US administration has not yet made a final decision regarding the US Delta Crescent company, working in oil fields in northeast Syria, a US State Department official told North Press on Wednesday. 

On May 22, a report by the American website, al-Monitor said that Biden’s administration is to cancel the license of a US oil company in northeast Syria.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) had granted Delta Crescent an exemption from the US sanctions applied on Syria to work on oil installations in the northeast of the country. 

OFAC is an acronym for the US Treasury Department’s Foreign Assets Control Office, which monitors the movement of funds between the United States and the punished entities and countries.

“We are working to make a final decision that is commensurate with the values of the United States and the interests of the allies in northeast Syria,” the official, who declined to be identified, added.

In the context, the American analyst Jonathan Bruder told North Press that the Biden administration’s desire to cancel the license stems from an “ethical vision” of the administration which believes that an American company benefiting from oil in northeast Syria is “unfair to the Syrian side and US allies of the Syrian Democratic forces.”

The analyst, who is well-informed about the Syrian oil issue, described former President Donald Trump’s statements about the Syrian oil as “suspicious”, which suggested “America’s desire to seize the region’s oil.”

Bruder does not believe that the decision has anything to do with America’s desire to stop support for the region, but rather it is more related to the reputation of the United States.

David Fillips, Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Colombia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, and former consultant of the US Department of State, said that Biden’s administration is still new and we do not know much about the details of its strategies.

“But there is nothing to worry about because the administration is fully convinced of the support of the allies in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as part of the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS), ” he added.

However, he linked the relationship with the SDF to the general American dealings with the Syrian issue, as “the Kurds and the experience of northeast Syria have become a key factor, where no solution is possible in Syria without it.”

Phillips revealed Biden’s intention to discuss the issue of supporting the SDF and to involve its political representative, the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), in the political process in Syria, through a meeting that he will hold with the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in June.

“Biden will inform Erdogan that Turkey’s assaults on the allies in northeast Syria “have become a thing of the past and should not be repeated,” according to Phillips.

He added that Biden’s administration has cards through which it can pressure the Turkish side to accept the new situation and contribute to stabilizing the region.

He pointed out that “ignoring the new situation in northeast Syria and listening to Turkish demands to exclude the SDF from the political process for the future of Syria will not continue or serve any of the Syrian parties.”

Philips does not believe that Turkey is capable of launching new military operations in northeast Syria under President Biden because this new administration is committed to supporting allies in Syria as part of a major strategy towards Syria and the region.

Phillips described the situation in northeast Syria as “stable”, despite its presence in a difficult environment full of challenges, whether “Turkey, Russia, the Syrian regime, or ISIS.”

“The Kurdish administration in the region has succeeded in overcoming very big and dangerous challenges in the past period and has proven its ability to maintain positive relative stability that the region strongly needs,” he said.

 

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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