U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday he hoped the PYD/YPG, the Syrian offshoot of PKK terror group, would “back up” 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 at the Values Voter Summit.
Turkey on Wednesday launched Operation Peace Spring to purge terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PYD/YPG/PKK.
As well, Turkey plans to resettle 2 million Syrians in a 30-km (19-mile) wide proposed safe zone in Syria stretching from the Euphrates River to the Iraqi border, including Manbij.
“Kurds are tending to leave” the planned zone and “that’s good. Let them have their borders,” said the U.S. president.
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.”
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union — has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
The third operation of Turkey in Syria came two days after a phone call between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. On Sunday, the White House said Washington would not be involved in the operation, and “in the immediate area”.