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Can Syria's Kurds reel in Turkey with profits from American oil deal?

The recent deal signed between the SDF and a US oil company is as much about political brinkmanship as oil.
Mazloum Abdi (Kobani), commander-in-chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), speaks with AFP during an interview in the countryside outside the northwestern Syrian city of Hasakah, in the province of the same name, on January 24, 2019. - Any deal between Syria's Kurds and the Damascus regime should respect the "special status" of Kurdish-led forces who fought the Islamic State (IS) group, Kobani said. The SDF control around a third of Syria after expelling jihadists from a large northeastern swathe of t
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As further details emerge about the deal struck between an obscure American oil company and the Kurdish-led autonomous administration of northeast Syria, it is increasingly clear that the accord is as much about political brinkmanship as oil. Mazlum Kobane, the commander in chief of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), is the brains behind it. In sealing the 25-year-long accord with Delta Crescent Energy, Kobane hopes to achieve a set of ambitious and interlinking goals.

The first is to cement the US military presence in northeast Syria by bringing in a US oil company, an idea that has been floating around for some time. It’s no accident that when President Donald Trump said he was keeping US forces in northeast Syria in the wake of Turkey’s October incursion, it was “for the oil.” The idea had been planted in the president’s brain too. Starving the Bashar al-Assad regime of oil revenues serves Washington’s overall strategy of pressuring the Syrian strongman into ending his alliance with Iran. Just as importantly, oil revenues also keep the Syrian Kurds financially solvent, obviating the need for American largesse.

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