Syrian presidential adviser Buthaina Shaaban
Fabrice Coffrini / AFP – Getty Images
DAMASCUS, Syria — A top adviser to Syria’s president says the United States has no right to Syria’s oil and has warned of “operations” against American troops guarding the oil fields.
“He’s talking about stealing it,” she added in her office at Syria’s presidential palace in Damascus, referring to President Donald Trump’s declaration earlier this year that the U.S. would “keep” Syrian oil.
Shaaban went on to warn of “popular opposition and operations against the American occupiers of our oil.”
During years of war, more than a third of Syria’s infrastructure has been destroyed or damaged, according to the International Crisis Group. The conflict has displaced half of the population and left an estimated 11.7 million people inside the country in need of humanitarian assistance, it added.
Shaaban said that only countries that supported Damascus during the war would be allowed to help rebuild the country.
“China is a big candidate … China has the money and the expertise and the friendship with us. And so has Russia,” she said.
Several Western nations have already said they would not be involved in rebuilding the war-shattered country.
Last year, Nikki Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said the idea that America would help “rebuild Syria” for Assad and Russian supporters was “absurd.”