UPDATED 11:00 AM PST – Wednesday October 9, 2019
President Trump continues to defend his decision to withdraw troops from Northern Syria, saying the U.S. should have never been there in the first place. In a series of tweets Wednesday, the president noted that fighting between various groups in the region has been going on for hundreds of years.
Fighting between various groups that has been going on for hundreds of years. USA should never have been in Middle East. Moved our 50 soldiers out. Turkey MUST take over captured ISIS fighters that Europe refused to have returned. The stupid endless wars, for us, are ending! https://t.co/Fbcem9i55Z
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2019
U.S. involvement in the Middle East has cost the country $8 trillion so far, along with many thousands of lives. President Trump said this was the worst decision ever made in the history of America. A Sunday press release confirmed that the U.S. was officially withdrawing from the region, stating “The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation.”
“I held off this fight for almost three years, but it is time to get out of these ridiculous endless wars…and bring our soldiers home,” the president emphasized.
President Trump’s remarks come after Turkey launched a military offensive in the region on Wednesday. Turkish forces deployed warplanes to attack Northern Syria, in an effort to push Kurdish forces away from the Syria-Iraq border. The Turkish government issued a warning to the Kurds, saying “they can either defect, or we will have to stop them from disrupting our counter-ISIS efforts.”
Kurdish officials said the air strikes are also targeting civilians, which has caused mass panic among residents. The president has said Turkey will be punished economically if it does anything considered to be inhumane.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged Turkish military troops to avoid taking action in Syria. He claimed “the only solution to ensure safety and security” by the Syrian border “is the presence of the Syrian army.” In a comment directed at the U.S., Rouhani also called for all foreign military forces to leave Syria.
The Kurds have previously worked with the U.S. to fight ISIS. The Iranian government is encouraging Kurds in Syria to support the Syrian government and army.
“The current trend to do deals behind closed doors is not to the benefit of the region,” said Rouhani. “We urge…the government of Turkey to show due care and attention and patience in this issue.”
In response to the recent military offensive, Iran has launched several unannounced military drills. The government stated they sought to test rapid reaction units, mobile brigades and helicopters.