Syrian President praises Trump's 'transparency'

Politico:

Syrian President Bashar Assad on Thursday hailed Donald Trump as the “best American president” for his “transparency” regarding his stated desire to maintain U.S. control of the Middle Eastern nation’s lucrative oil fields.

“I tell you, he’s the best American president. Why? Not because his policies are good, but because he’s the most transparent president,” Assad said in a state television interview, according to a translation of his remarks by NBC News.

“All American presidents commit crimes and end up taking the Nobel Prize and appear as a defender of human rights and the ‘unique’ and ‘brilliant’ American or Western principles,” he continued, “but all they are is a group of criminals who only represent the interests of the American lobbies of large corporations in weapons, oil and others.”

Assad asserted that Trump, however, “speaks with transparency to say, ‘We want the oil,’” adding: “What do we want more than a transparent foe?”

Trump last week announced that “a small number of U.S. troops will remain” in Syria to safeguard the oil-rich Deir ez-Zor province, despite his directive to evacuate the last American forces from the northern portion of the country.
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Trump appears to understand the importance of controlling assets in a contested region.  If the US did not control the oil it would be vulnerable to attack by ISIS or even Turkey.  Assad may be speaking tongue in cheek, but I think he also understands the importance of the oil to containing stability in the region.  Certainly, his government was not able to stop ISIS from stealing the oil and selling it to Turkey in the past.

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