"President Trump was persuaded to keep a number of troops in Syria partly so the United States could have some of its oil. But the idea of seizing petroleum in the war-torn country presents a big barrel of problems.
Trump explained Sunday that one of the reasons he decided to keep a contingent of about 200 U.S. troops in Syria was to prevent the oil fields in the eastern portion of the country from being retaken by the Islamic State, which had once used them as a source of income. The president made the about-face after enduring withering criticism from within his own party about pulling U.S. troops from Syria’s border with Turkey.
“We're protecting the oil, we're securing the oil,” Trump said during a news conference about the death of Islamic State commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during a U.S. military operation in Syria."