Trump hopes to reach an agreement with ExxonMobil or other energy companies to mine Syrian oil
US President Trump said on Sunday that he is interested in reaching an agreement with Exxon Mobil or other energy companies to exploit Syria's oil reserves.
"What I want to do is maybe to make a deal with Exxon Mobil or another big American company, then enter Syria and get some of the wealth there," he said.
Trump has listed Syrian oil as a priority for US national security and promised to deploy troops to protect the country's oil reserves while withdrawing troops from northern Syria. US Defense Secretary Espour said this week that the United States will send troops to protect Syrian oil fields from Islamic State militants.
Trump faces fierce criticism from Republicans and Democrats who accuse the president of abandoning US allies and withdrawing troops from the Syrian-Turkish border. This withdrawal has cleared the way for Turkey to take military action against the Kurds. The Kurds are the allies of the United States against the so-called Islamic State.
Trump said on Sunday: "The oil is so precious for a number of reasons. First, it fuels ISIS; second, it helps the Kurds - because it is basically taken away by the Kurds; third, it can Help us because we deserve to get some."
Trump made the remarks when he announced that the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, died after the US military launched a raid on Syria.
At a subsequent press conference, when a reporter asked if the United States could legally exploit Syrian oil through the “rights under international law,” Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina supported Trang. President Su's view of Syrian oil, "This is the main source of income for ISIS for a long time," Graham said. "It is now in the hands of the Syrian Democratic Forces. They are Arab Kurds, mostly Kurds. They are American partners in the Middle East. So, this does not violate any laws. In my opinion, it is based on good Foreign policy common sense."
"This is a win-win situation," he continued. "If we can modernize the oil field, the Syrian side will also get more money."
Former Secretary of State for Trump, Rex Tillerson, was the chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil. The company is currently facing a lawsuit alleging that it misleads investors about the risks of climate change regulations to their business.
ExxonMobil's share price rose 1.5% for the year, with the latest market value reaching $293 billion, down 0.88% as of press time.