If U.S. Takes Syrian Oil, It May Violate International Laws Against Pillage

October 30, 2019

NPR spoke to 2015 Wall Scholar James Stewart about the consequences of the U.S. taking Syrian oil. Stewart is a Professor at Peter A. Allard School of Law. 

On October 27 Trump discussed Syrian oil fields, while announcing the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Trump who had previously announced that he was planning to remove U.S. troops has now begun to consider adding additional troops to gain access to Syrian oil. Stewart defrayed the cost of U.S. operations in Syria and selling the country’s oil, which is state-owned property. He cited numerous international agreements binding the U.S., including the Fourth Geneva Convention, that defines the taking of goods during wartime without the owner’s permission as pillaging—a war crime.