The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) charges in a new report that the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are violating US sanctions imposed under the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act by supplying oil and gas to the Bashar Assad regime. The report claims the sales come to some six million barrels of oil annually, amounting to profits of $120 million. The report covers the period from enactment of the Caesar Act in June 2020 through July 2021, and asserts that the oil has enabled “perpetration of atrocious violations” by the regime. The report also warns of toxic pollution caused by primitive oil extraction methods used at the SDF-held oil-fields.
The report states that sporadic operations by US-led Coalition forces to stop oil-smuggling “remain limited and incomplete in nature,” only interrupting the traffic for a matter of days. The SDF has been cracking down on tafficking across the Euphrates River, while apparently selling hydrocarbons directly to the regime-affiliated al-Qatirji Company via an overland route.