Trump continues to defend US Syria troops withdrawal

US President Donald Trump continued to defend on Saturday (October 12) his controversial decision to pull some US troops out of an area of Syria where they had been supporting Kurdish forces.

Trump spoke at the annual Values Voter Summit where he said "I don't think our soldiers should be there for the next 50 years guarding a border between Turkey and Syria when we can't guard our own borders at home."

He also repeated his threat of imposing strong sanctions on Turkey if "they do not meet their commitments."

Turkey began its cross-border offensive against a Syrian Kurdish militia this week after Trump abruptly shifted policy and withdrew some US troops deployed to support Kurdish forces in the fight against Islamic State.

Trump has said he does not approve of Turkey's operation, and his administration said the attack was causing "great harm" in relations between Washington and Ankara.

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