Declaring property rights over Syrian oil is the real occupation, Turkey’s ruling party spokesman said Saturday.
“Those who say that they will transfer the resources of the Syrian people to SDG are in favor of terrorism against the Syrian people,” Omer Celik, a spokesman for the Justice and Development (AK) Party, said in a tweet.
He was referring to the US which on Thursday said revenues from northeastern Syria’s oil fields will be directed to the SDF – the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces
Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters that proceeds from the oil sales are not going to the US but the SDF, which Washington uses as a local ally against Daesh 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 backpedaled on the full withdrawal he announced, acknowledging some troops will stay in the region “to secure the oil”.
The SDF is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK. While the US supports, arms and collaborates with the SDF in Syria, it recognises the PKK as a terrorist entity, along with Turkey and the EU. Turkey however deems all affiliates of the PKK as terrorist entities, and launched its military operation in Syria specifically to target PKK affiliates.
The Turkish official went on to say: “They claim unlawful rights over Syrian people’s resources. And they say they will allow terrorist organisation SDG to use these resources.”
He said ‘terrorist organisations’ have occupied the resources of the Syrian people. “They sold resources, especially oil. This is done by all terrorist organisations like Daesh, PKK, YPG, PYD and SDG.
“All this shows that the most brutal and inhumane projects seen by the people of the Middle East have been constructed through the PKK / YPG / PYD / SDG. This structure is the enemy of all people,” Celik stated.
He reiterated that using the SDF, a terrorist organisation according to Turkey, to fight Daesh defeats the spirit of fighting terrorism.
“This is the biggest threat facing democracies after the World War II.”
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on October 9 to target Daesh and Kurdish militias in northern Syria east of the Euphrates River, in a bid to secure Turkey’s borders and aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees from its territories.
The US and Turkey on October 17 came to an agreement to pause Turkey’s military operations in northern Syria in order to allow the withdrawal of Kurdish forces from the planned safe zone, where Ankara wants to repatriate millions of Syrian refugees it is currently hosting.
On October 22, Turkey and Russia reached another deal under which Kurdish forces would pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey’s border with Syria, and security forces from Turkey and Russia would conduct joint patrols there.