Skip to comments.Trump says Turkish offensive in Syria is 'not our problem'
Posted on 10/16/2019 9:31:20 AM PDT by robowombat
President Trump said Wednesday that Turkeys offensive against U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in northern Syria is not our problem, defending his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the region amid criticism.
"If Turkey goes into Syria, it is between Turkey and Syria. Its not our problem, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office during a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
Trump also downplayed the U.S. alliance with the Kurds, calling them no angels and saying the U.S. paid a lot of money for the Syrian Kurdish forces to fight alongside U.S. troops against ISIS.
Trumps remarks came as a U.S. delegation led by Vice President Mike Pence prepared to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara in an attempt to broker a ceasefire in the region.
The Kurds are much safer right now, but the Kurds know how to fight, and as I said, theyre not angels. Theyre not angels. You take a look but they fought with us. We paid a lot of money for them to fight with us, and thats OK, Trump said Wednesday in the Oval Office.
"If Russia wants to get involved with Syria, thats really up to them. They have a problem with Turkey. They have a problem at a border. Its not our border, we shouldnt be losing lives over it, Trump said later.
Trump has faced tremendous blowback over his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria as Turkey prepared to launch a military operation at the border, including harsh criticism from some of his Republican allies.
Many critics have argued that Trumps move effectively greenlit Ankara's operation and that the president abandoned Kurdish forces, a key U.S. ally in the fight against ISIS. Turkey has long viewed the Syrian Kurds as a terrorist group.
The decision has also raised concerns about the potential for large numbers of ISIS fighters detained in the region to be released, undoing much of the work by U.S. and other forces to contain the terror group.
Administration officials have rejected the notion that Trumps decision to pull back troops paved the way for the Turkish operation.
Trump has continued to defend his decision, saying he wants to get the U.S. out of endless wars. On Monday, he also announced sanctions on Turkey.
Trump also asserted that the situation on the Turkish border with Syria was strategically brilliant for the United States, pointing to the fact that the Kurds had struck a deal with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for protection.
"So I view the situation on the Turkish border with Syria to be, for the United States, strategically brilliant. Our soldiers are out of there. Our soldiers are totally safe. Theyve got to work it out Syrias protecting the Kurds, thats good. And by the way, every player hates ISIS, Trump said.
Trump also at one point suggested that some ISIS fighters in the region had been released for effect to force the U.S. to return to the region.
Pence is traveling with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Trumps new national security adviser, Robert OBrien, to Ankara to meet with Erdogan on Thursday in an attempt to broker a ceasefire in the region. The visit comes after Trump held a phone call with Erdogan earlier in the week.
Were watching and were negotiating and were trying to get Turkey to do the right thing, Trump told reporters on Wednesday.
Tensions between Trump and Republicans showed signs of easing following the announcement of sanctions and the ceasefire efforts. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a Trump ally who vocally criticized the pullback from northern Syria, has supported Trumps efforts on sanctions and a potential ceasefire.
-- Updated at 12:09 p.m.
FINALLY he has stopped caring what Complex whores like Graham and Romney have to say. Americans wholeheartedly agree.
It is Syria and Russia’s problem!
We had no business being in Syria to start with, despite the bleatings of Grahamnesty, Rubio, McCain and others.
The British have been our allies, the Israelis have been our allies, the Canadians have been our allies.
The Kurds have never been our allies.
Too bad this wasn't given media exposure when BHO and Brennan were unleashing Arab Spring on Syria. Those two did put a lot of blood on the US’s hands, and no one saw anything.
Our REAL leverage over anything in the world is economic anyway.
What outrage can the deep state conjur up for immediate release? The dark guys in shadow work are running out of public adrenaline for dispensing!
The Iraqi Peshmerga Kurds are pretty good allies. The Syrian Kurds are for the most part Communists and not worth support.
The hands of rogue agents of “The Company” are at work here?
Plausible deniability. Don’t nobody know nuffin’.
Never? You sure about that?
But but but the MSM said the Kurds rode into Raqqa on unicorns screaming “America Akbar” and “We Love Zionists” and “Capitalism is Great” and we just abandoned them to the army’s of darkness.
We are terrible people and must apologize for bad orange man.
I guess the logic is, if the Muslims will police themselves... then they can reach some accord.
The Israelis get a pass on D-Day because a lot of them were in camps or in hiding.
Arab Spring as a term for public use was a Bush origination.
We need to withdraw all our blood from the Middle East PERIOD. Maybe a carrier group in the Med will suffix if a hot spot of vital interest needs to be turned into a parking lot. President Trump is the only one with a set of balls to stand up to the swampers and DC lobbyists.
If you want to stay in these military messes go ahead and send your own son.....NOT mine.
If Countries like Saudi Arabia need outside help to defend themselves let them buy a mercenary force and a hefty squadron of drones. Finally, Europe can screw themselves as well. These cheap bastards need to furnish their own blood, NOT ours.
It is a win - win situation.
The Kurds are mercenaries pure and simple. The United States never promised these Syrian Kurds anything. We used them and they used us.
Finally a voice of Reason in DC!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.