‘We never agreed to protect the Kurds for the rest of their lives!’ Donald Trump justifies leaving U.S. allies in Turkey’s path – then boasts of ISIS: ‘I’m the one who did the capturing’
- Donald Trump defended his removal of American troops from Syria
- ‘We never agreed to protect the Kurds for the rest of their lives,’ he said
- Lawmakers from both sides have criticized Trump’s decision
- And others have expressed concern ISIS will resurge in the region
- But Trump said he’s captured ISIS
- ‘I’m the one who did the capturing,’ he said
Donald Trump defended his removal of American troops from Syria, arguing he was keeping a campaign promise and that the United States ‘never agreed to protect the Kurds for the rest of their lives.’
‘We never agreed to protect the Kurds. We supported them for three-and-a-half, four years. We never agreed to protect the Kurds for the rest of their lives,’ the president said Monday during a Cabinet meeting at the White House.
Trump also bragged the Kurds were good fighters because of U.S. money and military equipment.
Donald Trump defended his removal of American troops from Syria
Lawmakers from both parties have criticized Trump’s decision complaining he was abandoning the Kurds, a longtime U.S. ally – above U.S. trucks arrive in Iraq after withdrawing from Syria
‘They didn’t fight because they didn’t have us to fight with them. A lot of people are good when they fight with us, you know, when you have $10 billion worth of airplanes shooting 10 miles in front of your line, it’s much easier to fight,’ he said.
But, he added: ‘Where’s the agreement that said we have to say in the Middle East for the rest of humanity, for the rest of civilization to protect the Kurds. We never said that.’
The president has been fighting criticism from lawmakers in both parties of his decision to remove U.S. troops from Syria. Republicans and Democrats alike have complained Trump abandoned a longtime U.S. ally.
‘We helped the Kurds. And we never gave the Kurds a commitment that we’d stay for the next 400 years and protect them,’ the president said.
‘So why should we put our soldiers in the midst of two large groups, hundreds of thousands, potentially, of people, and they’re fighting? I don’t think so,’ Trump said.
Additionally, Turkey made a military move across the border shortly after the president’s decision. Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Ankara last week to negotiate a cease fire.
Trump said that agreement is ‘holding.’
The Kurds, a Muslim tribe in the Middle East, had been a strong U.S. ally in the war on terror, fighting ISIS.
The president acknowledged their contribution.
‘They were a good help, but we were a great help to them, too. They were fighting ISIS. You know, they hated ISIS. So they were fighting ISIS,’ he said.
But he then said he was the one that defeated ISIS.
‘ISIS was all over the place … It was me…who captured them,’ he said.
‘I’m the one who did the capturing. I’m the one who knows more about it than you people or the fake pundits,’ he told reporters at the White House.
His comments come amid reports of concern about experts that ISIS will benefit from the president’s decision and regroup in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal.
Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis claimed ISIS would surge in the region because of Trump’s move.
‘In this case, if we don’t keep the pressure on then ISIS will resurge. It’s, it’s absolutely a given that they will come back,’ he said last Sunday on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’
The president also said he campaigned on bringing American troops home and wanted to keep that promise.
‘I want to bring our soldiers back home,’ he said. ‘I have to do what I got elected on, and I have to do what I think is right.’
But the troops from Syria are being redeployed to Iraq and not returning to the United States.