Before arriving on an unannounced visit to Baghdad, US Defense Secretary James Mattis has said Americans are “not in Iraq to seize” their oil.
His comments, made on Monday while traveling towards Iraq, appeared to be an attempt to distance him from the recent remarks by President Donald Trump regarding Iraq and its oil.
In a speech to CIA staff on January 21, Trump said about Iraq, “We should have kept the oil. But okay. Maybe you’ll have another chance.”
A few days later in an interview with ABC’s David Muir, the president repeated the comments, “We should have taken the oil. You wouldn’t have ISIS (Daesh) if we took the oil.”
According to experts, stealing oil from civilians is a war crime, and a violation of international law.
Mattis, on his first trip to Iraq the new US defense secretary, appeared to be ruling out any American plans to capture Iraqi oil.
“All of us in America have generally paid for our gas and oil all along and I’m sure that…