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Donald Trump Defends Syria Policy, Says US is not Abandoning Kurds with Troop Withdrawal

"We are helping the Kurds financially/weapons! Trump said reiterating that America's support to the Kurds is not going away.

PTI

Updated:October 8, 2019, 10:49 PM IST
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Donald Trump Defends Syria Policy, Says US is not Abandoning Kurds with Troop Withdrawal
File photo of Donald Trump. (Image: Reuters)

Washington: President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that his administration is not abandoning the Kurds in Syria, saying the US is helping them financially and with weapons after a bipartisan backlash over his decision to withdraw US troops from northeastern part of the country.

Trump made an abrupt decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the border between Turkey and Syria, a move that clears the way for Turkey to launch a long-threatened assault on Kurds who it views as terrorists but whom US military planners and other western nations view as partners in fighting the Islamic State. The decision brought condemnation from Democrats and Republicans.

"We may be in the process of leaving Syria, but in no way have we abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters," Trump said in a tweet, a day after he was being slammed by his opponents and allies including Indian-American Nikki Haley, his former envoy to the UN.

"Likewise our relationship with Turkey, a NATO and trading partner, has been very good. Turkey already has a large Kurdish population and fully understands that while we only had 50 soldiers remaining in that section of Syria, and they have been removed, any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency, he said.

"We are helping the Kurds financially/weapons! Trump said reiterating that America's support to the Kurds is not going away.

In a statement, Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, alleged that the Trump Administration has upended longstanding policy with an impulsive, politically-driven decision that will sacrifice long-term US national security interests.

This thoughtless decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Northern Syria comes seemingly at the behest of Turkish and Russian leaders and over the advice of our career military and diplomatic officials. Even the President's own senior leadership acknowledges ISIS and its affiliates have not been defeated and continue to threaten our security interests, he said.

However, Trump has defended his decision to withdraw from Syria.

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