Trump defends his disastrous Syria retreat by calling the Kurds 'no angels' and claiming it was 'strategically brilliant'

Donald Trump

  • President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the Kurds are "no angels" as he defended his decision to withdraw US troops from northeast Syria.
  • Trump's Syria retreat opened the door for a Turkish invasion of Syria that began last Wednesday. The incursion targets the Kurds.
  • "If Turkey goes into Syria it is between Turkey and Syria. It's not our problem," Trump said. "The Kurds know how to fight. As I said, they are not angels."
  • The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) bore the brunt of the US-led campaign against ISIS, losing roughly 11,000 fighters in the process.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to abandon the Kurds, who bore the brunt of the US-led campaign against ISIS, by referring to them as "no angels."

"If Turkey goes into Syria it is between Turkey and Syria. It's not our problem," Trump said, downplaying Turkey's invasion of Syria, which began last Wednesday. He added: "The Kurds know how to fight. As I said, they are not angels."

Trump also said his Syria retreat, which has catalyzed a humanitarian crisis and sparked bipartisan criticism in Washington, was "strategically brilliant."

"I view the situation on the Turkish border with Syria to be, for the US, strategically brilliant," Trump said less than a week after US forces in Syria came under fire by Turkish artillery.

Trump's comments came during a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

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