The Biden administration has decided to not extend a sanctions waiver for a small US oil company to operate in northeastern Syria, Al-Monitor reported on May 21, citing sources informed on the matter.
The company, Delta Crescent Energy LLC, was granted a sanctions waiver by the Trump administration in April 2020. It permitted to work in northeastern Syria oil fields, which are controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
According to Al-Monitor, the waiver expired on April 30 and the company was given 30 days to shut down its operations in northeastern Syria.
“The decision to withdraw the waiver to produce and sell oil in Syria, which remains heavily sanctioned under the Caesar Act, has been presented by administration officials as a policy correction, not a shift,” Al-Monitor’s report reads.
The company has launched a lobbying campaign to get the waiver renewed. However, sources familiar with the effort told Al-Monitor that they are unlikely to succeed.
The SDF signed a deal with Delta Crescent Energy LLC without the approval of the legitimate government in Damascus, which called it a “deal between thieves”.
The Biden administration’s cosmetic decision to not renew Delta Crescent Energy LLC’s wavier is not a sign of a near US withdrawal from northeastern Syria. In the last few months, the US military boosted its presence in the region which indicates that Washington is planning to keep its troops in the region for the long term.