Oct 7, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Trump on northern Syria pullout: U.S. will "ONLY FIGHT TO WIN"

President Trump addressed his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria as Turkey ramps up an offensive against U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters in the region in a series of Monday tweets.

"The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades. I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home. WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN.
"Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out, and what they want to do with the captured ISIS fighters in their 'neighborhood.' They all hate ISIS, have been enemies for years. We are 7000 miles away and will crush ISIS again if they come anywhere near us!"

The big picture: The Syria decision follows a trend for Trump, who has pledged to reduce the country's military footprint around the world — most controversially pondering a complete pullout from Afghanistan by 2020.

  • The U.S. had been trying for months to broker a truce between two allies, Turkey and the Kurdish fighters in the region, after the defeat of the Islamic State, or ISIS.
  • Former national security adviser John Bolton insisted months ago that the U.S. drawdown would need an agreement by Turks that protected the Kurds. But Turkey bristled at that — and Bolton is no longer in his job.

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