‘Secure the oil’: Trump’s Syria strategy leaves Pentagon perplexed

While US military says mission is to defeat Isis, president insists taking oil is fair ‘reimbursement’, but violates rules of war

US officials are struggling to explain the mission of up to a thousand US troops in Syria, who have mostly taken up positions near oil fields in response to Donald Trump’s orders.

A fortnight after ordering a complete evacuation of US troops ahead of a Turkish incursion into northeastern Syria, abandoning Kurdish partners in the fight against Isis, Trump changed his mind and said some forces should stay but only to “secure the oil”.

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