Trump says hopes YPG terrorists withdraw from Turkey's Syria op area

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 13.10.2019 11:05
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo)
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo)

U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday said he hoped the People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists would abandon fighting Turkish military in northeastern Syria.

"I hope they do, because it is very hard to beat a force with that planes they don't, where they have weapons that Kurds don't have," said Trump, referring to the YPG.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring, the third in a series of cross-border anti-terror operations in northern Syria targeting terrorists affiliated with Daesh and the PKK's Syrian offshoot the YPG, on Oct. 9.

In defending his decision to pull U.S. forces from the operation area in the northern Syria, Trump said, "I don't think our soldiers should be there for the next 50 years."

"We have to bring our great heroes, our great soldiers, we have to bring them home. It's time. It's time," Trump said in a lengthy and wide-ranging address to the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of social conservative activists.

He portrayed the Middle East as a hopeless cause, despite years of American military involvement and financial investment.

"It's less safe now. It's less secure, less stable and they fight," he said. "That's what they do. They fight."

The Turkish operation, conducted in line with the country's right to self-defense borne out of international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions, aims to establish a terror-free safe zone for Syrians return in the area east of the Euphrates River controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by YPG terrorists.

The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

Turkey has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates in northern Syria, pledging military action to prevent the formation of a "terrorist corridor" there.

Since 2016, Turkey's Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for nearly 400,000 Syrians who fled the violence to return home.

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