Defense Secretary Mark Esper said yesterday that the Pentagon is considering “keeping some U.S. troops near oilfields in northeastern Syria alongside Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to help deny oil to Islamic State militants.”

Just over a week ago President Trump ordered U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria, after which Turkey immediately took the opportunity to launch an attack. Trump has moved the U.S. troops to western Iraq to conduct U.S. operations against ISIS from there.

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During a trip to Afghanistan, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told reporters that “while the U.S. withdrawal was under way, some troops were still with partner forces near oilfields and there had been discussions about keeping some of them there” reported Reuters.

After an attack on Saudi Arabia’s oilfields by Iran, President Trump has offered support to the country. He also made clear that it is in the United States’ best interest to assist in the protection of oil fields in the region.

Trump’s shift in Syria is a strategy to get American troops out of a “more than eight-year war” where the United States had been given the responsibility to police the region. However, because the Kurdish allies and U.S. troops fought in a “region rich in oil reserves,” The New York Times reported that “Trump was now leaning in favor of a new military plan to keep about 200 U.S. troops in eastern Syria near the Iraq border.”

Continue Reading: Reuters