“We never agreed to protect the Kurds for the rest of their lives,” President Donald Trump said while speaking to reporters at a White House for over an hour during a Cabinet meeting Monday afternoon.
“We have a good relationship with the Kurds, but we never agreed to protect the Kurds. We have fought with them for three-and-a-half to four years. We never agreed to protect the Kurds for the rest of their lives,” Trump said.
Trump has been fighting back against bipartisan criticism for his decision earlier this month to pull US troops out of northeastern Syria, allowing Turkey to attack the US-allied Syrian Kurds and seize control of the area.
Trump also told reporters that a negotiated “ceasefire” was holding despite some “skirmishes.”
Trump’s comments came as US forces leaving Syria were headed to Iraq even though Trump had said he was bringing them “home.”
He said Monday they would be going to “other parts” before coming back and when asked if he would support leaving a small number of troops in the region, Trump said that outside of securing oil that “there is no reason for it.” “I don’t think it is necessary, other than that we secure the oil,” Trump said. “It is in a little different section, but we need to secure the oil.”