Wed Oct 16, 2019 05:29PM [Updated: Wed Oct 16, 2019 05:43PM ]
Turkey’s offensive against Kurds in northern Syria is “not our problem,” says US President Donald Trump as pressure mounts on his administration over abandoning of the formerly US-backed forces in the region.
“If Turkey goes into Syria, it is between Turkey and Syria. It’s not our problem,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office of the White House during a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Wednesday. “The Kurds are much safer right now, but the Kurds know how to fight, and as I said, they’re not angels.”
The president further said that the Kurds had been paid to fight alongside the US allegedly against Daesh militants in Syria.
“They’re not angels. You take a look… but they fought with us. We paid a lot of money for them to fight with us, and that’s OK,” Trump said.
The US commander in chief further suggested that Russia and Turkey should deal with the situation in Syria themselves as the US seeks to stay out of conflict.
“If Russia wants to get involved with Syria, that’s really up to them. They have a problem with Turkey. They have a problem at a border. It’s not our border, we shouldn’t be losing lives over it,” Trump said.
PressTV-US slaps sanctions on Turkey over Syria operationThe US has imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministries and three senior government officials following the country’s military offensive against Kurdish militants in Syria.
This is while his administration is coming under unprecedented pressure over betraying allies particularly held close by Republicans.
“I hope President Trump is right in his belief that Turkeys invasion of Syria is of no concern to us, abandoning the Kurds won’t come back to haunt us, ISIS won’t reemerge, and Iran will not fill the vacuum created by this decision,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of his closest Capitol Hill allies. “However, I firmly believe that if President Trump continues to make such statements this will be a disaster worse than President Obama’s decision to leave Iraq.”
‘Locking barn door after horse leaves’
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) also lashed out at Trump as well as Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for handling the situation, which involved giving Turkey the green light to slaughter the Kurds.
“This was a decision by the administration which had the clearly observable result that we’re seeing. To have the vice president and the secretary of State going to meet with Erdogan and suggesting that somehow we’re surprised by what’s happening is disingenuous,” Romney told reporters.
He further suggested that the Trump administration is responsible for the offensive.
“Very clearly it was a decision by the administration that which has led to what you’re seeing. This is a bit like the farmer locking the barn door after the horse has left,” Romney said.
Turkey launched a military operation on the pretext of fighting terrorism after the White House announced that it was pulling back US troops in northern Syria.