Trump ‘Welcomes’ Russia’s Syria Intervention; Calls Kurdish PKK ‘Worse at Terror’ Than ISIS
President Donald Trump, during his press conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, embarked on a rambling spiel declaring that the Turkish incursion in Syria did not surprise him, and that he’s not rethinking the withdrawal of support for America’s Kurdish allies.
“President Erdogan’s decision did not surprise me because he has wanted to do that for a long time,” Trump said. “He has been building up troops on the border with Syria for a long time, as you know…It didn’t surprise me at all. There have been warring for many years. It’s unnatural for us, but its sorta of natural for them. They fight, and they fight long and they fight hard. They’ve been fighting Syria for a long time.”
Trump continued to protest America’s involvement in foreign wars, insulting the Kurds once again by saying they are “no angels.” This eventually pivoted to the subject of Russia’s intervention in Syria, to which, Trump declared: “I say welcome to it.”
“If Russia is going to help in protecting the Kurds, that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. It would be led by Syria. And Syria doesn’t want Turkey to take its land. I can understand that. But what does that have to do with United States of America?”
Eventually, Trump moved on to offer an analysis of Kurdish separatist groups, echoing Turkish talking points by declaring the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as “probably worse at terror” than ISIS.
“Syria does have a relationship with the Kurds. The thing thats common is that everybody hates ISIS. Now the PKK, which is a part of the Kurds, is probably worse at terror and more of a terrorist threat in many ways than ISIS. So it is a very semi-complicated, not too complicated if you are smart, but it’s a semi-complicated problem. I think it’s a problem that we have very nicely under control.”
Both Turkey and the United States consider the Turkey-based PKK to be a terrorist organization. The U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, known as the YPG, have sought to distance themselves from the PKK in order to maintain support from the United States. Turkey has sought to convince the U.S. that the YPG is a terror group on par with ISIS.
Per Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin:
President Trump: “PKK (Kurds) are a greater threat than ISIS.” Not a single National Security adviser to the president would agree with that statement. Turkish talking point.
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) October 16, 2019
Trump went on from there by defending his administration’s diplomatic efforts to rein in Turkey before blaming the push to stay in Syria on “the military-industrial complex.”
Watch above, via Fox News.
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