Syria’s oil resources are not as significant as those of other countries in the region but were sufficient to guarantee the country’s energy self-sufficiency and allowed Damascus to earn a modest income from exports. Since 2011, much of these resources have been damaged or looted, first by jihadists and then by the U.S. military and their Kurdish allies.
The US Reinforces Military Presence in Syria
Ninety percent of Syria’s oil resources are under the control of Washington and its allies, Oil Minister Bassam Touma has revealed.
“Americans and their allies are targeting the Syrian oil wealth and its tankers just like pirates,” Touma said, speaking to Syrian News Channel on Thursday.
“What has happened all through the war in Syria has not happened in any country, in terms of preventing us from tapping our wealth and at the same time stopping basic commodities from reaching our country,” Touma added.
The minister estimated direct and indirect damage to Syria’s oil sector of over $92 billion and stressed that the industry had been targeted deliberately by its enemies because it is a crucial income source for the country’s economy.
Syria produced about 400,000 barrels of oil per day before the war. With this income, worth about $730 million a month, the country met its energy needs, accounting for over 20 percent of state revenues.
Between 2014 and 2017, the Daesh group occupied much of the country’s oil fields, looting and destroying infrastructure and illegally shipping hundreds of thousands of tons of black gold out of the country.
In 2019, Washington redeployed troops from the Syrian-Turkish border into the oil-rich interior of northeastern Syria, with President Donald Trump admitting freely that the US’s main aim was to “take” and “keep the oil.”
The Biden administration has resorted to a milder language but has likewise kept the oil-siphoning activities in place. The Russian military has estimated that the US and its allies earn at least $30 million a month on their oil-plundering business.