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Pentagon says U.S. won't keep revenue from Syrian oil fields

U.S. forces ordered to secure Syrian oil fields
U.S. forces ordered to secure Syrian oil fields 02:00

Northeastern Syria — The Pentagon on Thursday revealed that the U.S. would not be keeping any revenue from oil fields protected by American troops in Syria. President Trump insisted last month the U.S. would "keep the oil," estimated at $45 million a month.

Mr. Trump also ordered the withdrawal of troops from the region several weeks ago, but CBS News saw soldiers re-establishing their presence inside northeastern Syria. They wouldn't talk with CBS News, but from what we could overhear, it was more of a meet-and-greet than a tactical deployment of U.S. protection.

The U.S. forces have been ordered by the president to secure oil fields. But with the Russians, the Syrian regime and Turkish forces trying to take a piece of this territory, America's influence has been severely restricted. 

The Kurdish commander of U.S.-allied troops said the U.S. had no choice but to reconsider its draw down, but that the main reason is "definitely not oil." Not the oil itself, but a watch over the territory that encompasses it.

Protecting the oil fields might sound pretty straightforward, but securing the oil essentially means securing this entire region. That helps justify the U.S. presence in Syria.

On Thursday, a U.S. military spokesman told CBS News the repositioning of forces is to defeat ISIS remnants and protect critical infrastructure. But the Trump administration first said a small number of troops would return to 'protect the oil,' in an area hundreds of miles from where CBS News saw them.

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