US President Donald Trump has commented of the US troop pullout from Syria, saying that the United States should never have been in the Middle East in the first place.
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
In a follow-up post, he added that going into the US military involvement in the Middle East was "the worst decision ever made in the history" of the country.
"We went to war under a false and now disproven premise, weapons of mass destruction. There were none!" he said, referring to the build-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, when the Bush administration claimed that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction — which were nowhere to be found.
....IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY! We went to war under a false & now disproven premise, WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. There were NONE! Now we are slowly & carefully bringing our great soldiers & military home. Our focus is on the BIG PICTURE! THE USA IS GREATER THAN EVER BEFORE!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2019
On Monday, Trump said that getting the US out of military conflicts was the reason he was elected president. He also specified that the US military should fight only where it is in the country's interest, "and only fight to win".
Trump's rhetoric on Turkey's looming operation in Syria has also swayed in the past days. First, he said that he could "once again obliterate" the Turkish economy, only to write hours later that he considers Ankara Washington's important partner.
The White House has received scrutiny from the president's political opponents in Washington, who have accused Trump of 'abandoning' the US's Syrian Kurdish allies amid a possible Turkish invasion. Turkey, which considers the Syrian Kurdish YPG forces 'terrorists' affiliated with Turkey's own PKK Kurdish militants, has repeatedly promised to carry out a military operation in northern Syria to secure the border area. Turkish troops and heavy equipment have been assembled at the border area in recent days, and Ankara has promised to inform all relevant countries including Syria about the operation when it begins.
On Wednesday, Damascus slammed Turkey's plans, accusing "the Turkish regime" of "irresponsible statements and aggressive intentions," and warning that a military operation inside Syria would constitute "a disgraceful breach of international law and UN resolutions that respect Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity." Russia and Iran, who serve as co-guarantors of the Syrian peace process along with Turkey, have called for calm in the region, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov calling on Damascus and Kurdish forces to hold a dialogue to resolve the border situation. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, meanwhile, has called on US troops to be removed from the region, and for Kurdish forces to support the Syrian army.