According to AFP on February 8, a U.S. Department of Defense official said on Monday that the U.S. military in Syria focused on combating the remnants of the Islamic State and did not follow the previous orders of former President Trump to protect the oil fields.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that the U.S. military has not participated since a U.S. company signed a contract with Kurds in northern Syria last year to help them extract oil from northeast Syria.
Kirby said that 900 U.S. military personnel and contractors in the region “are not allowed to assist any private enterprise, including employees or agents of the enterprise, which seeks to develop Syrian oil resources”.
The only exception, he said, is when the U.S. military in Syria is acting under existing authorization to protect civilians, which can explain the continued presence of the U.S. military around the oil field.
He said: “It is important to remember that our mission there remains to make the Islamic State organization fail permanently.”