Dienstag, 04.08.2020 / 13:47 Uhr

Türkei und Assad gegen amerikanisch-kurdischen Öldeal

Thomas von der Osten-Sacken


(Bild: Jean Beaufort, CC0 Public Domain)


Die Fronten sind fluide und so kommt es, dass manchmal Assad und Erdogan sogar gemeinsame Sache machen. Etwa wenn eine us-amerikanische Ölkompanie mit den kurdischen Selbstverwaltungsorganen in Nordostsyrien (Rojava) ins Geschäft kommen will und wohl auch noch volle Rückendeckung aus Washington hat:

Turkey and the Syrian regime condemned reports of a deal by an American oil company linked to oil fields in eastern Syria. The Syrian regime claimed the deal was stealing Syrian oil. At the same time Turkey, which illegally occupies part of northern Syria and whose Syrian rebel allies have been accused of ethnically cleansing minorities from Afrin, slammed the deal as well.

Ankara claimed the US was ignoring ‘international law” and that the US position would never be accepted or legitimized. Turkey is increasingly an ally of Iran and Russia on issues pertaining to Syria and opposes the US in Syria, even though the US and Turkey are both members of NATO.However, reports also indicate that the “deal” which was reported in some media may not even be finalized or as certain as it is depicted. This may be due to confidentiality agreements or not wanting to cause controversy or because the deal is not completed. More questions than answers now surrounded what is happening with oil in eastern Syria. (...)

While Turkey and Damascus are outraged at the deal that Delta Crescent Energy reportedly signed, there are also questions about the deal itself. Politico notes that the firm is a little known company incorporated in February 2019. “It has been in talks with the Kurds for more than a year but only received a license from the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets control for the work in April,” the report notes. “The arrangement is to refine and use some of the oil locally but also export some through northern Iraq and Turkey.”

Clearly the last part of that sentence “and Turkey” would be problematic given Ankara’s opposition. Iraq’s position is also not clear. In the past Syrian oil has been smuggled to the Syrian regime and also smuggled out by ISIS when ISIS controlled parts of eastern Syria. Smuggling allegedly also took place to Turkey in the past. However, the oil fields which can produce hundreds of thousands of barrels a day are estimated to be producing only around ten percent of that, with smuggling accounting for thousands of barrels moving illicitly to areas such as Damascus. It’s not clear if the oil deal will be able to boost capacity or spend a year updating infrastructure. It’s not even clear how, during COVID-19 and amid ISIS threats and border closures, the company intends to do the work.