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Rumaylan: PKK and Syrian regime cooperate in Rumaylan

KURDWATCH, June 8, 2013—A letter from the Syrian Minister for Crude Oil and Natural Resources to the Prime Minister gives an account of a meeting on September 17, 2012 between representatives of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the director of the state crude oil company, Syrian Petroleum Company (SPC), and the head of the Political Security Directorate of al‑Hasakah. The letter was published on the internet and ascertained by KurdWatch to be authentic. In the letter, the PKK demanded to receive the transfer of protection of the oil fields in the Kurdish region. The Minister recommends fulfilling these demands, since problems in the Kurdish region could be avoided and work could move forward. Moreover, the PKK threatened to attack the oil fields in the Kurdish regions should it be denied control. The People’s Defense Units (YPG) of the PKK-affiliated Democratic Union Party (PYD) protect Rumaylan against attacks by the Free Syrian Army and thus allow the Syrian government continued access to the country’s largest oil reserves, which are deposited there. This access is strategically important, as Syria is under an international embargo and cannot import any oil. According to a former employee of the administration in Rumaylan, the PYD is paid by the government for the aforementioned protective services.

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