Oil fields north Syria: The undeclared PYD-Assad agreement



ARA News 

Qamishli, Syria– Syrian Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources has reportedly visited oil fields in the area of Rumailan, north-east of Syria, in September. Sources reported that Minister Suleiman Abbas paid another official visit on Monday to the oil-rich area of Rumailan, which is currently held by forces loyal to the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) –affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).   

Activists stressed that the Minister’s visit confirms an undeclared cooperation between the PYD and the Syrian regime in maintaining security in the Kurdish area in northern Syria, “especially in the oil-rich Rumailan”.

“The Minister held meetings with members of the PYD and its armed wing of the YPG, beside representatives of pro-Assad Christian and Arab tribal militias,” an activist, preferred anonymity, told ARA News.

The activist who participated in the meeting said that an agreement was reached regarding the distribution of oil outcomes between the parties.  

“As four parties jointly run the region, the agreement included a distribution of oil outcomes between them. The PYD will be receiving 25% of the outcomes, while the regime’s outcome will constitute 60%. As for the pro-Assad Crhitian militia, 10% was specified, and the regime-linked National Army (Arab tribal militia) will receive 20%,” he confirmed.

According to sources, the Syrian oil will be exported across a pipeline extending from the oil field of Rumailan to the Iraqi territories. The line was extended during the rule of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

Along with other participants in the Monday meeting, the PYD signed contracts with the Syrian Oil Ministry regarding the protection of the oil fields.

“Representative of the PYD’s armed wing (the Popular Protection Units YPG), Mohammed Amin Ibrahim, signed apparently long-term contracts together with the General Manager of the Rumailan oil fields, Omar Hamad,” the activist told ARA News.

According to the signed contracts, the PYD’s Kurdish forces of the YPG will be protecting oil establishments for an amount of 50 million Syrian Pounds (which equates 350,000 US dollars).

Ministers Abbas pointed out that other pro-regime groups protect the oil wells in Provinces of Deir ez-Zor and Homs, preventing opposition groups from “stealing the government’s crude oil”.

“The Ministry cooperates with the specialized authorities to target the terrorists who are stealing crude oil through self- pumping wells in the provinces of Homs, Deir ez-Zor, and al-Hasakah, as those ‘terrorists’ try to smuggle our oil into the neighboring countries,” Abbas reportedly said during the Monday meeting in Rumailan.   

Masoud Ali, a Kurdish activist in the city of Rumailan, told ARA News that he saw members of the YPG painting their barrels on the barriers with blue colors (removing the Kurdish red, green and yellow colors) before the Minister’s visit to the area.

Since February 2013, the Kurdish YPG forces are in conflict with Islamist groups for control in northern Syria. A number of villages in the countryside of Rumailan have fallen under the control of the YPG after fierce clashes over the last few weeks.


Reporting by: Mir Yaqoub

Source: ARA News

(Editing by: Adib Abdulmajid. Translation by: Abdul Ilah Ibrahim)




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