President Donald Trump declared Wednesday that the U.S. mission in Syria is focused solely on protecting oil fields, which appears to contradict the Pentagon’s contention that fighting ISIS is the priority.
“We’re keeping the oil, we have the oil, the oil is secure, we left troops behind only for the oil,” Trump told reporters during a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the White House.
Last Thursday, the vice director of the Pentagon’s Joint Staff corrected a reporter who said the mission there was to protect the oil.
“I’m not going to pick on your words, but I would only — I would be cautious with saying that ‘the mission [is] to secure the oil fields,'” said Rear Adm. William Byrne. “The mission is the defeat of ISIS. The securing of the oil fields is a subordinate task to that mission, and the purpose of that task is to deny ISIS the revenues from that oil infrastructure.” [Continue reading…]