CAIRO, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday the U.S.-allied Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has been selling oil from fields that it controls in the east of Syria, despite U.S. economic sanctions. The Syrian government and the Kurds have been discussing possible autonomy conditions with Damascus in light of the expected U.S. pullout from the north of the country in April, and Arab media reports that oil resources are one of the main topics of negotiation.

Arab media reports say Kurdish negotiators from the U.S.-allied SDF in the north of Syria and Syrian government officials, including intelligence chief Ali Mamlouk, have been holding autonomy talks since mid-January, in Damascus and at the Russian Hmeimem Airbase in Latakya.

The Syrian government is reportedly discussing control of oil fields in the northeast of the country, now under Kurdish control, along with Kurdish demands to continue an education program in Kurdish, which Damascus rejects.

The U.S. daily Wall Street Journal reported Friday the Syrian-owned Qatirji Group is purchasing oil from the SDF and refining it for use in areas of the country that it controls. The head of the group was recently placed under U.S. economic sanctions.

CAIRO �

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday the U.S.-allied Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has been selling oil from fields that it controls in the east of Syria, despite U.S. economic sanctions. The Syrian government and the Kurds have been discussing possible autonomy conditions with Damascus in light of the expected U.S. pullout from the north of the country in April, and Arab media reports that oil resources are one of the main topics of negotiation.

Arab media reports say Kurdish negotiators from the U.S.-allied SDF in the north of Syria and Syrian government officials, including intelligence chief Ali Mamlouk, have been holding autonomy talks since mid-January, in Damascus and at the Russian Hmeimem Airbase in Latakya.

The Syrian government is reportedly discussing control of oil fields in the northeast of the country, now under Kurdish control, along with Kurdish demands to continue an education program in Kurdish, which Damascus rejects.

The U.S. daily Wall Street Journal reported Friday the Syrian-owned Qatirji Group is purchasing oil from the SDF and refining it for use in areas of the country that it controls. The head of the group was recently placed under U.S. economic sanctions.

Lebanese economist and former finance minister Georges Corm told VOA he believes the Kurds in the north of Syria have an “interest in establishing a constructive dialogue with the Syrian government,” given the “threats by Turkish President Erdogan to set up a security zone in northern Syria.”

He said Syria is being aided by powerful countries with economic resources like China, Russia and Iran, so he does not think U.S. economic sanctions will have a major effect on the Syrian government. He also argues the Syrian economy has traditionally been self-sufficient, so it is less dependent on outside forces.

Arab media, however, reported in recent weeks the Syrian currency has lost more of its value to the dollar, currently trading on the black market at between 600 and 700 Syrian lira to the dollar, causing increasing economic hardships for many people.

Source: Voice of America

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CAIRO, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday the U.S.-allied Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has been selling oil from fields that it controls in the east of Syria, despite U.S. economic sanctions. The Syrian government and the Kurds have been discussing possible autonomy conditions with Damascus in light of...