Trump speaks during a “Keep America Great” Campaign Rally at American Airlines Center on Thursday in Dallas, Texas. Tom Pennington/AFP
US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he allowed Turkish and Kurdish forces to clash in deadly battle because the two sides were like children who needed to fight each other.
“It was unconventional what I did. I said they’re going to have to fight a little while,” Trump told a rally of supporters in Texas.
“Like two kids in a lot, you have got to let them fight and then you pull them apart.
“They fought for a few days and it was pretty vicious.”
Trump triggered the week-long Turkish offensive against the Kurds by withdrawing US troops from northeast Syria.
More than 500 people have been killed including dozens of civilians, mostly on the Kurdish side, and 300,000 civilians have been displaced within Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor.
Trump stressed that “not one drop of American blood” was shed.
On Thursday, Turkey — after talks with US Vice President Mike Pence — agreed to suspend its offensive and to end the assault if Kurdish-led forces withdraw from a safe zone along the border.
“We went there and we said we want a pause, and the Kurds have been terrific. They’re going to move back a little bit,” Trump said.
“We are going to keep Daesh nice and locked up. We are going to find more of them, and Turkey is all set.”
Trump has faced accusations even from usually loyal supporters that his withdrawal of 1,000 US troops betrayed Kurdish militants who bore the brunt of the fight against Daesh in recent years.
Brett McGurk, former presidential special envoy for the anti-Daesh coalition, described Trump’s remarks about “two kids” fighting as “obscene and ignorant.”
“200k innocent people displaced. Hundreds dead. Credible reports of war crimes. Daesh prisoners escaping. US evacuating and bombing its own positions or handing them to Russia. Two kids in a lot?” he said on Twitter.
US President Donald Trump on Monday demanded Turkey stop its military incursion in Syria and imposed new sanctions on the NATO ally as Trump scrambled to limit the damage from his much-criticized decision to clear US troops from Turkey’s path.
US President Donald Trump may visit Turkey in July, Turkey’s President Tayip Erdogan said in an interview in Japan where he will attend the G20 summit and is expected to meet with his American counterpart.
Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said on Tuesday he met US President Donald Trump and broadcaster NTV reported him as saying Trump took a reasonable point of view regarding Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defence systems
The UAE government has announced that the number of COVID-19 tests has broken the two million mark, reaching 2,044,493 screenings as part of the national plan to intensify coronavirus detection.
The two Philippine Overseas Labour Offices (POLOs) in the UAE have resumed the acceptance of new applicants for the one-time COVID19 pandemic-related cash aid to all displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) around the world.
Technology doesn’t alone solve cyber-security challenges as processes and procedures are needed alongside continuous awareness campaigns to ensure that workplaces remain secure, said experts during an e-Discussion.
The two states on Monday joined the less populous Western Australia and South Australia states and the Northern Territory in resuming face-to-face learning, instead of studying from home online.