Trump knocks 'ridiculous Endless Wars' amid US troop pullout from Syria

President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE on Monday said it is time to remove the United States from “ridiculous Endless Wars" after he decided to pull back American troops from northern Syria amid an impending Turkish military operation there.

“The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades. I held off this fight for … almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” Trump tweeted.

“WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN,” the president added.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump’s remarks came hours after the White House announced late Sunday that Turkey would be moving forward with a long-threatened offensive in northern Syria and that U.S. troops would not be in the “immediate area” when it happens.

Trump spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan about the matter earlier Sunday, White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamCNN's Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview Trump turns Pelosi's 'meltdown' criticism around: 'She is a very sick person' War of words at the White House MORE said.

“Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria. The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial ‘Caliphate,’ will no longer be in the immediate area,” Grisham said.

The U.S. began pulling back troops from the Turkish-Syrian border early Monday, according to multiple reports.

Trump’s decision marked a reversal and was viewed as an endorsement of Turkey’s plans for the offensive.

The U.S. has worked closely with Kurdish fighters in Syria in the battle against ISIS, or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are led by the Kurds, reportedly denounced Trump's decision as a “stab in the back” and have warned it could erode gains made against ISIS in the region.

Turkey, which views the Kurdish forces as a terrorist insurgency, has long been frustrated with the U.S. alliance with the group. The U.S. has been working on establishing a safe zone along the border in order to reduce tensions, but the plans have thus far been unsuccessful and Turkey has threatened a military operation near the border.

Trump's decision drew immediate criticism, including from one of his closest allies, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Graham: 'Stupid' for Trump to ask China to investigate Biden Turkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate MORE (R-S.C.).

“I don’t know all the details regarding President Trump’s decision in northern Syria. In process of setting up phone call with Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo. If press reports are accurate this is a disaster in the making,” Graham tweeted Monday.

Trump, who campaigned on bringing U.S. troops home, has sought to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria. He called for a complete withdrawal last December, but ultimately reversed course amid protest from the Pentagon.

Trump on Monday also repeated his claim that the U.S. has defeated 100 percent of the ISIS caliphate, which has been challenged in the past.

“Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to … figure the situation out, and what they want to do with the captured ISIS fighters in their ‘neighborhood.’ They all hate ISIS, have been enemies for years. We are 7000 miles away and will crush ISIS again if they come anywhere near us!” Trump tweeted.