The British – Inherent Resolve: Pillaging Syria’s Oil
Ed.’s note: Would Americans expect anything different from the British? Should be changed from Operation Inherent Resolve to inherent oil theft and pillaging.
Former British Ambassador to Syria: UK complicit in Trump’s Syria Oil Grab
With the UK Parliament already on alert, how long will it be before Congress wakes up to this scandal-in-the-making?
November 07th, 2019 | By Peter Ford
It is out of the bag. The UK is potentially complicit in a war crime. With typical insouciance the U.S. military dropped this bombshell by tweet and apparently without realizing the implications for U.S. partners:
.@USArmy troops in 4-118th Infantry Regiment, @30thabct, @NCNationalGuard attached to the 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, @SCNationalGuard, load M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles to support the @CJTFOIR mission in Deir ez Zor, Syria. #DefeatDaesh pic.twitter.com/ZbFsvIemRW— OIR Spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins III (@OIRSpox) October 31, 2019
OIR is Operation Inherent Resolve, which is the name behind which the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS cloaks its military activities. (Think NATO wearing a thobe.) CJTFOIR is the Combined Joint Task Force for Operation Inherent Resolve.
If, as per the spokesman’s statement, the forces being redeployed to Syria’s oil-producing areas are Inherent Resolve forces, it follows that those troops are doing so in the name and under the aegis of the Coalition. Simple. Ah yes, but awkward for the British government to admit – awkward for practical, political and legal reasons.
In practice, if this is a Joint Task Force Operation as we are told by the U.S. spokesman, it would be next to impossible for the deployment in Deir Ez Zor province to be taking place without some input from the senior UK officers embedded with the U.S. military in the Coalition Joint Task Force headquarters (the Deputy Commander is a British general) and active in carrying out Operation Inherent Resolve.
Politically this matters because hitherto all the opprobrium leveled at President Trump for allegedly ‘looting’ Syria’s oil has spared other participants in Inherent Resolve, including the UK, France, and Germany. How awkward it might be for Boris Johnson, facing an election, to find himself tarred with yet another Trump brush to put alongside Trump’s alleged grab for the UK National Health Service.
Legally this matters because if Trump puts into practice his promise to seize Syrian oil production, that will constitute, according to authoritative legal experts, a violation of international law against ‘pillaging’ enshrined in the Fourth Geneva Convention and thus constitute a war crime. Any party complicit in pillaging, and that would surely include other parties in the Joint Task Force, even if only headquarters staff and not boots on the ground, could also be culpable. The British government might find itself challenged in a UK court even if no international court could be found willing to act.
A nightmare for British government lawyers
This is the stuff of nightmares for British government lawyers.
Parliament is already alerted. The independent peer Baroness Cox prompted the following exchange with a government minister by putting down a tricky parliamentary question.
We can take that as an embarrassed ‘yes’.
Lord Ahmed, an FCO Minister, gave a similarly evasive answer to another question asked by Baroness Cox:
You can picture Lord Ahmed squirming.
It gets worse.
The British government may soon find itself complicit in harboring and funding terrorists because of Inherent Resolve’s involvement in pillaging Syria’s oil.
Please go to MPN to read the entire article.