Former US vice president and Democratic presidential front runner Joe Biden on Thursday, 10 October, slammed US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria, saying he sold out the courageous Kurds and Arabs who fought with America to smash ISIS's caliphate.
Syrian Kurds, considered to be an American ally in the region, did not help the US in fighting against the ISIS, Trump on Wednesday had said, defending his decision to pull out American forces paving way for Turkey to launch a military operation to invade northeastern Syria. However, he added that the US "does not endorse" Turkey's operation.
“The Kurds are fighting for their land, just so you understand. They’re fighting for their land. As somebody wrote in a very, very powerful article today, they didn’t help us in the Second World War. They didn’t help us with Normandy, as an example. They mentioned the names of different battles. They weren’t there. But they’re there to help us with their land, and that’s a different thing.”US President Donald Trump
"Donald Trump sold out the Syrian Democratic Forces — the courageous Kurds and Arabs who fought with us to smash ISIS's caliphate — and he betrayed a key local ally in the fight against terrorism," Biden said in a statement.
‘Trump Has Betrayed US Troops’: Biden
Biden said that by taking such a decision, Trump has betrayed US brave troops, who sacrificed alongside them.
"He betrayed our word as a nation — raising doubts among our allies around the world about America's security commitments. And he betrayed our security by green lighting a Turkish incursion that will create chaos and destruction, setting conditions for ISIS to regrow," he said.
On Wednesday, Biden in a major election speech has supported to move to impeach Trump.
Slamming Trump for his Syria policy, Biden said Trump's sad attempt to excuse the betrayal — saying that the Kurds didn't fight with us at Normandy 75 years ago in World War II — adds insult to very real injury.
"By that standard, only Canada, a handful of European allies, and others could ever hope for America to come to their defence — and even they might have doubts after Trump's performance. Especially when Trump said he wasn't worried about ISIS regrouping and fleeing Syria because they would only go to Europe,” he asserted.
Biden claimed that Trump made this decision on a whim, after a phone call with Turkish President Erdogan — a fellow strongman who has threaten to send millions of Syrian refugees into Europe if they dared to criticise his attack.
"There was no process. No consultation with our military, our diplomats, or our allies. Trump got rolled, plain and simple, because he has no idea what he's doing,” he said.
Turkey has launched a broad assault on Kurdish-controlled areas in northeastern Syria, with intensive bombardment paving the way for a ground offensive. The operation was possible after the White House announced late Sunday that Turkey would soon carry out a military operation in northern Syria and that US troops will no longer be “in the immediate area”.
‘US Has Spent Tremendous Amount of Money on Kurds’: Trump
Trump said the US has spent tremendous amount of money on helping the Kurds in terms of ammunition, weapons and pay.
"With all of that being said, we like the Kurds. Now, you have different factions in there. Again, you have PKK. That's a different faction, and they worked with us. It's a rough group, but they worked with us,” he said.
“But we've spent a tremendous--and they're fighting for their land. So, when you say they're fighting with us, yes, but they're fighting for the land,” Trump said.
Reiterating that it is time to bring US soldiers back home, Trump said that there are no American troops in the area where Turks have started invading Northern Syria.
“We've been talking to Turkey for three years. They been wanting to do this for many years, as you know. They been fighting each other for centuries. They been fighting each other for hundreds of years. This has been going on,” he said.
Trump said the US was forced into this battle and its presence in the area was supposed to be for a 30-day period.
"But it has been there for many years. It's time to get speaking to both sides, we've told President Erdogan how we feel, but we are speaking to both sides and we are seeing what can be made out of a situation,” he said.
Asserting that the US is getting out of the endless wars, Trump said that his administration has to do it.
"Eventually, somebody was going to have to make the decision,” Trump said, adding that he is getting a lot of praise for the decision.
(Published in an arrangement with PTI)