By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) - Following a telephone call between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump, the White House said Washington will step aside and allow Ankara's planned operation in northern Syria.
The Sunday phone conversation centered on a planned safe zone and Turkish officials said Trump invited Erdogan to Washington for a meeting in November. Hours after that aforesaid talks, the White House said U.S. troops would not support Turkish military operations and would "no longer be in the immediate area."
Trump said early Monday the U.S. was supposed to be in Syria for 30 days, which he said was many years ago.
"We stayed and got deeper and deeper into battle with no aim in sight. When I arrived in Washington, ISIS was running rampant in the area. We quickly defeated 100% of the ISIS Caliphate, including capturing thousands of ISIS fighters, mostly from Europe," Trump tweeted, using an alternate name for the Daesh terror group.
The U.S. president has long rebuked European countries for dragging their feet to not take back Deash terrorists captured in northern Syria.
"But Europe did not want them back, they said you keep them USA! I said “NO, we did you a great favor and now you want us to hold them in U.S. prisons at tremendous cost. They are yours for trials," said Trump. "They again said “NO,” thinking, as usual, that the U.S. is always the “sucker,” on NATO, on Trade, on everything."
In his tweets, Trump also took aim at the YPG terror group, the Syrian offshoot of PKK, touting his so-called efforts to halt a fight between Turkey and the YPG and went on to announce his decision to pull U.S. troops out from Syria.
"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,” he said.
"WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN. 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'," said Trump. "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 added.
- 'Endless wars'
Nearly four hours later, the U.S. president praised himself in a pair of tweets, saying he was elected to end the country's involvement in overseas wars and the military was depleted before he took the office.
"I was elected on getting out of these ridiculous endless wars, where our great Military functions as a policing operation to the benefit of people who don’t even like the USA.
"The two most unhappy countries at this move are Russia & China, because they love seeing us bogged down, watching over a quagmire, & spending big dollars to do so. When I took over, our Military was totally depleted. Now it is stronger than ever before. The endless and ridiculous wars are ENDING! We will be focused on the big picture, knowing we can always go back & BLAST!" said the president.
Trump's decision to get the troops out of northern Syria sparked reactions from Republican and Democrat lawmakers. Senator Lindsey Graham was quick to slam Trump and called it "shortsighted and irresponsible."
Later, Trump once more issued a start warning on Twitter against Turkey. "As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!),” he said.
"They must, with Europe and others, watch over the captured ISIS fighters and families. The U.S. has done far more than anyone could have ever expected, including the capture of 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. It is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory. THE USA IS GREAT!" he concluded.
Turkey has long called for the U.S. to partner with it in the fight against Daesh, a terror group Ankara has worked to root out, arresting and deporting its members within Turkey.
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 to Western Syria.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian branch of the terrorist organization PKK.