The Pentagon claims the oil in Syria from oil fields secured by US troops will not be going to the US, but will go to the YPG/PKK-led SDF instead to prevent Daesh from gaining access to the resources.
Revenues from northeastern Syria's oil fields will be directed to the YPG/PKK-led SDF, the US said on Thursday.
Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters that proceeds from the oil sales are "not going to the US."
"This is going to the SDF,” he said during a news conference in which he maintained US support for its main partner in Syria.
The oil fields have been at the centre of attention following US President Donald Trump's withdrawal of American forces from northeastern Syria. Trump has since backpedalled on the full withdrawal he announced, acknowledging some troops will stay in the region "to secure the oil."
The US has deployed mechanised forces to accomplish the task, but the mission has raised thorny legal questions over what authority Trump has to direct the mission, and what its ultimate aim is.
The Pentagon maintains the effort is focused squarely on denying the Daesh terror group from accessing the revenues it once used to help it sprawl across and cement its grip on the region.
“Our force posture, whether it’s mechanised, whether it’s foot soldiers, and everything in between, is meant to prevent that from happening again,” Rear Admiral William Byrne, the anti-terrorism chief for the Joint Staff, told reporters during Thursday's press conference.
Daesh, however, has been significantly degraded from the force that once captured and ran the oil sites. And with Russia and the Syrian regime now in the region, questions have been raised over whether the ultimate objective is denying them, not the terrorist organisation, from benefiting from Syria's natural resources.
“The mission is the defeat of ISIS," Byrne said, using another name for Daesh. "The securing of the oil fields is a subordinate task to do that mission. And the purpose of that task is to deny ISIS the revenues from that oil infrastructure.”
Ankara agreed with Washington on October 17 to pause a military operation for five days to allow YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the planned safe zone.
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on October 9 to eliminate terrorist YPG/PKK elements east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.