Syria Oil: Russia Accuses US Of ‘Banditry’
Trump and Putin discuss in Vietnam (file photo: Reuters)

Russia has accused the United States of “international banditry” after the US announced its intention to protect Syria’s oil fields controlled by Kurdish forces, Concise News reports.

Russia was reacting to a statement by US Defense Secretary Mark Esper that his country’s troops were reinforcing their positions near the Iraqi border.

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Esper had said in Brussels that the mission of the troops would be to prevent the Islamic State group from gaining access to oil fields and securing “resources that may allow them to strike within the region, to strike Europe, to strike the United States.”

But Russia’s defence ministry said in a statement that “what Washington is currently doing – seizing and placing under control the oil fields of eastern Syria – is simply international banditry.”

It said all hydrocarbon deposits in Syria do not belong to “the Islamic State terrorists” and “even less to US defenders against Islamic State terrorists, but exclusively to the Syrian Arab Republic.”