- War: Turkey launches its ground and air attack against Kurdish forces in Syria
- P&R Donald Trump revives the war in Syria: the keys to the withdrawal of US troops
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, said he "likes" the Kurds of Syria, but argued that he has no obligation to protect them because they did not fight alongside the United States against Nazi Germany.
"They did not help us with World War II. They did not help us with Normandy," said the president, who argued that he had read that the Kurds had not participated in this battle in a " very, very powerful article ", apparently referring to a column of opinion of Kurt Schlichter.
"We have dedicated huge amounts of money to help the Kurds," Trump said. "They are fighting for their land. They say they are fighting with the United States, yes, but what they are fighting for their land ."
In its campaign against the Islamic State, the United States integrated Kurdish forces into a multi-ethnic alliance of forces, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDS, which in recent years have lost more than 11,000 combatants in their fight against the IS.
In the same press conference at the White House, Donald Trump also stressed that Turkey has been "fighting" against the Kurds for centuries and wants to "return them to where they came from," and that the United States has been involved in that battle for too long. " This is like Israel and the Palestinians , but perhaps the hate is even greater," Trump said.
Trump threatened his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, yesterday with "more than sanctions" if his offensive in northeastern Syria has a "inhuman" effect on the Kurds, and said he will "annihilate the economy" of Turkey if he exterminates that group.
Asked why he will do if the Turkish offensive "exterminates" the Kurds in northern Syria, Trump replied: "I will annihilate your economy if that happens, I already did it once with the (American Andrew) Brunson pastor, whose arrest led to Washington to impose sanctions on Ankara that were lifted after his release.
"We will see how he does it (Erdogan). He can do it smoothly, he can do it very hard , but if he does it unfairly, he will pay a very large economic price," Trump warned.
The president thus answered the question of whether he agrees with the initiative of Republican Senator Lindsay Graham, who announced that he will push for a package of sanctions that would affect any assets in the United States of Turkish leaders, including Erdogan, in addition to prohibiting assistance and military sales to Turkey.
Graham, one of Trump's main allies in the Senate, has been very critical of the president's decision to withdraw US troops from Syria in the face of the Turkish military offensive against Kurdish militias, but the president vehemently defended his position today.
" I think we are doing the right thing, and I think the country also believes it , beyond the small circle of Washington," Trump said in reference to the bipartisan criticism he has received in Congress.
Asked about what will happen if the offensive gives the inmates of the Islamic State (IS) in the area the opportunity to escape from the detention camps, Trump replied: "They would escape to Europe, that's where they want to go."
Turkey officially announced today the start of its military operation in northern Syria against Kurdish militias, which it considers "terrorists" for its ties to the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the Kurdish-Turkish guerrilla active in Turkey.
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