The agreement between the US based Delta Crescent Energy LLC and so-called "Syrian Democratic Forces" (SDF) under the direction of the YPG/PKK terrorist organization to extract and trade oil in the northeast of Syria is against international law, Mesut Hakki Casin, a professor of law at Istanbul's Yeditepe University told Anadolu Agency.
The agreement, which is first referred by US Senator Lindsey Graham and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 30, aims at enabling the terrorist organization SDF to market oil produced in the Syrian territory controlled by their militia for creating revenue to "develop and modernize existing fields."
The deal also aims at increase daily oil production in the region to 60 thousand barrels until February 2021 and gradually to 380 thousand barrels until October 2022 by the US based Delta Crescent Energy LLC.
Turkey denounced the deal by defining it as a step disregarding international law, violating territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty of Syria, as well as being considered within the scope of financing terrorism, in a written statement released on August 3.
"By this step, the PKK/YPG terrorist organization has clearly demonstrated its ambition to advance its separatist agenda by seizing the natural resources of the Syrian people. The natural resources of Syria belong to the Syrian people," the statement said.
Professor Casin says the deal is the first step which aims at recognizing YPG/PKK internationally as Syrian autonomous government and building a federal structure in the region.
"Via this agreement, YPG will be enabled to hold a place on the table as a legal representative in the 3rd round of the Syrian constitutional committee, which is planned to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, at the end of August," he said.
Furthermore, the deal which provides a basis for an integration of the YPG/PKK with the Syrian Kurdish National Council -- a faction that is close to Mesut Barzani -- is a major defiance against the international peace making efforts, Casin said.
It is unlawful to support terrorist organizations and to sign agreements with them according to the International Court of Justice and law of the United States, and that's why the company and the signatory parties should stand trial, according to Casin.
Despite the support of the US government for the agreement, it is against the international law and justice will prevail, he said.
- Terrorist PKK to receive $7 billion annually
Casin said that the US could ship the oil from region to the international market through two different routes.
"Turkey may be the first oil route through Kirkuk-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline and in that case Ankara will be exposed to pressure but it is unacceptable," he emphasized.
The second route will be Israel's Haifa Port over Jordan, as a result, the US-Israel alliance will enhance its dominance in the region through the terrorist organization YPG/PKK, according to Casin.
If the production increases up to 60 thousand barrels, PKK will get daily $3 million from the current market value of oil which is around $44.62. In case the production reaches 380 thousand barrels, $19 million will be daily transferred to PKK.
As a result, a total of $7 billion in revenue will be transferred to the terrorist organization annually.
- Deal to destabilize region further
Oguzhan Akyener, the president of the Turkey Energy Strategies & Politics Research Center (TESPAM) also said that some of the oil fields controlled by the PYD/YPG/PKK terrorist organization are being operated by the Syrian Petroleum Company (SPC), tied to the Assad regime and oil is processed in mobile refineries.
Some other oil resources, close to Turkish border in the northeastern Al-Hasakah province of Syria, are controlled by Russia, he said.
"These resources are operated by Russia's autonomous public oil company, Soyuz Neft and sold through the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (IKBY)," Akyener said.
He added that the fields controlled by the YPG/PKK terrorist organization around Deir ez-Zor, east of the Euphrates River, are all being controlled by the US, and the US private companies are producing oil in these fields.
"This supply is sold through the IKBY and the central government in Baghdad. In any case, the YPG/PKK terrorist organization generates revenue and takes advantage from the oil production in these fields. This group even does [oil] business with the Assad regime," he stressed.
The current trade between US and Russia-based companies and a terrorist organization is against the international law, which means more destabilization for this region, according to Akyener.
"Turkey will never allow these illegal acts to strengthen a terrorist organization through such investments in the region. It is not acceptable to try to legalize these acts through different ways and to sell poor quality oil in the international markets," he said.
However he argued that it is an attainable goal for Delta Crescent Energy LLC to reach 60,000 barrels of oil production per day with small-scale investments.
"US oil firms already produce and sell nearly 40,000 barrels of oil per day from the region. Our projection is that with an investment amount of $350 million to existing facilities and upgrading the wells, this goal [60,000 barrels per day] can be realized," said Akyener.
"However the subsequent target of 380,000 barrels per day is unrealistic without Turkey's support, which requires developing new wells and building new facilities," he said and added that an illegal oil trade of this volume cannot be legalized in any way.
- Oil activities in terrorist-controlled Syrian regions
Syria produced around 380,000 barrels of oil per day before the country has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011. Current production is estimated at 40,000 barrels per day.
The PKK is a designated terrorist organization in Turkey and US, but Washington has refrained from similarly labeling its Syrian cousin as it continues to rely heavily on the YPG as its primary partner in northeastern Syria despite Ankara's objections.
The US support for the YPG has been a major strain on US-Turkish relations.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, US and EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.
The YPG/PKK today controls vast swathes of territories in northern Syria and controls a significant amount of oil fields.
In December last year, the US has sent a group of experts to Syria's biggest oil field in Deir ez-Zor province in hopes of increasing production. The team consisting of 15 engineers and technicians were also expected to train locals to observe oil productivity in the area.
After ordering a withdrawal of US forces from northern Syria in October around the time Turkey launched its anti-terror Operation Peace Spring in the region, US President Donald Trump backpedaled, saying US troops would stay in the region "to secure the oil."
By Busranur Begcecanli & Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu