GENEVA (Reuters) – Iran and Russia on Tuesday condemned U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to maintain a military presence near oil fields in northeastern Syria, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying any exploitation of resources would be illegal.
Trump’s suggestion on Sunday that Exxon Mobil Corp or another U.S. oil company operate Syrian oil fields drew rebukes from legal and energy experts.
The United States will strengthen its military presence in Syria with “mechanized forces” to prevent Islamic State fighters seizing oil fields and revenue, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif addressed the issue at a news conference in Geneva on Tuesday evening after meeting with his counterparts, Russia’s Lavrov and Turkey’s Mevlut Cavusoglu.
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Update #1: US actions in Syria run counter to international law — Lavrov (TASS)
Update #2: ‘Arrogant & illegal’: Lavrov denounces US military’s oil moves in Syria at Russian-Turkish-Iranian press event (RT)
WNU Editor: The U.S. is reinforcing their military positions around these oilfields …. US deploying more troops around Syria oil fields after killing of Isis leader (The Guardian). More here …. US military envisions broad defence of Syrian oilfields (Al Jazeera).