President Donald Trump on late Saturday explained his decision to remove U.S. forces from northern Syria ahead of a Turkish military operation, saying “it’s time” to bring the troops home.
“We have to bring our great heroes, our great soldiers, we have to bring them home,” Trump said at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.
“It’s time. It’s time,” he told the conservative audience, adding that he is an “island of one.”
The AP also noted that Trump also said that the Middle East is “less safe now.”
“It’s less secure, less stable and they fight,” he said. “That’s what they do. They fight.”
Trump’s decision to relocate about 50 U.S. troops who were in northeast Syria, paving the way for Turkey to move forward with an offensive against Syrian Kurdish forces, sparked criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.
Turkey considers the Syrian Kurds terrorists, but the United States partnered with them in the fight against ISIS and relied on them to do the most dangerous ground fighting.
According to The Associated Press, Trump in a tweet after the conservative gathering also said that the “same people that got us into the Middle East Quicksand, 8 Trillion Dollars and many thousands of lives (and millions of lives when you count the other side), are now fighting to keep us there.”
“Don’t listen to people that haven’t got a clue,” he added. “They have proven to be inept!”