Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

President Donald Trump is flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo while making a statement in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on October 23, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

'Illegal and Unconstitutional': Sanders Rips Trump Plan to Use US Troops to Exploit Syria's Oil Fields

"Last I checked, Congress never authorized U.S. forces to be deployed to secure Syria's economic resources."

Jake Johnson

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday condemned as "illegal and unconstitutional" President Donald Trump's newly announced plan to keep U.S. troops in northeastern Syria to control and exploit the region's oil fields.

"Last I checked, Congress never authorized U.S. forces to be deployed to secure Syria's economic resources," Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, tweeted Wednesday.

During a press conference in the Diplomatic Room of the White House Wednesday, Trump said a "small number of U.S. troops will remain in the area where they have the oil." The president did not specify how long or how many U.S. troops would remain stationed in northeastern Syria.

"We've secured the oil," Trump said. "We're going to be protecting it, and we'll be deciding what we're going to do with it in the future."

The president's remarks came just over two weeks after he abruptly announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria, paving the way for Turkey to launch a deadly assault on the region's Kurdish population.

Despite the slaughter, Trump claimed he "saved the lives of many, many Kurds" by negotiating a "ceasefire" in northeastern Syria following the Turkish military operation that he enabled.

"Countless lives are now being saved as a result of our negotiation with Turkey—an outcome reached without spilling one drop of American blood," the president said. "No injuries. Nobody shot, nobody killed."

Dozens of people were reportedly killed during Turkey's bombardment of the Kurds. According to the United Nations, more than 160,000 civilians were displaced by the Turkish invasion.

As Common Dreams reported last week, Amnesty International documented a number of war crimes committed by Turkish forces in northeastern Syria, including indiscriminate bombing of residential areas and "summary killings" of civilians.

"Turkish military forces and their allies have displayed an utterly callous disregard for civilian lives," said Kumi Naidoo, secretary general of Amnesty International.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Infuriating Disappointment': Biden DHS Ramping Up Deportations to Haiti

"It is unconscionable for the Biden administration to resume deportation flights to Haiti, despite the country's ongoing political, economic, and environmental disasters."

Jessica Corbett ·


Architect of Texas Abortion Ban Takes Aim at LGBTQ+ Rights While Urging Reversal of Roe

"Make no mistake, the goal is to force extreme, outdated, religious-driven values on all of us through the courts."

Jessica Corbett ·


Ahead of Canadian Election, Bernie Sanders and Rashida Tlaib Endorse NDP

"Bernie, you have fought courageously for public healthcare, affordable medication, making the rich pay their fair share, and tackling the climate crisis," said party leader Jagmeet Singh. "We're doing the same here."

Jessica Corbett ·


US Urged to End Drone Strikes After Pentagon Says Killing 10 Afghan Civilians Was 'Horrible Mistake'

"That was not a 'mistake,'" said journalist Anand Giridharadas. "War crimes are not oopsies."

Brett Wilkins ·


40+ NYC Activists Arrested for Protests Against Banks Fueling Climate Emergency

"We're sending a message loud and clear that the little action that politicians and greenwashing CEOs have taken so far does not begin to deal with the magnitude of this crisis."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo