SDF violating U.S. sanctions by selling oil to Syrian regime – rights group

The Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces are violating U.S. sanctions on Syria, supplying oil and gas to the Damascus regime, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said.

The SDF is selling around six million barrels of oil annually, making a profit of $120 million, the SNHR said in a report on Thursday.

There is a “massive benefit to the Syrian regime from these operations, which it uses in its continuing perpetration of atrocious violations”, the U.K.-based organisation said.

“The U.S.-led coalition forces’ operations to stop oil-smuggling remain limited and incomplete in nature, with their impact usually lasting no longer than a few days, after which the oil trucks once again return to resume transporting the oil to the areas controlled by the Syrian regime,” the SNHR said.

The SDF, largely made up of Kurdish militants, has acted as a key ally of the United States in its battle against Islamic State in Syria (ISIS). The militants are affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an autonomy-seeking armed group in Turkey labelled as a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union.