Donald Trump supports the Kurdish people

Trump justifies withdrawal from Syria : "The Kurds did not help us with Normandy"

US President Donald Trump defended the withdrawal of US soldiers from northern Syria with a daring historical comparison: The Kurds, now affected by a Turkish military offensive, would not have supported the US in World War II and the Allied landings in Normandy in 1944.

"They didn't help us in World War II, they didn't help us with Normandy, for example," Trump said in Washington on Wednesday. Rather, the Kurds would fight for "their country".

In his argument, the US President referred to a "very, very strong article" on Wednesday. Apparently, Trump was referring to a comment on the conservative Townhall website defending his decision to withdraw US troops from northern Syria.

The US has already given the Kurds a lot of support, Trump explained. "We have spent enormous sums of money to help the Kurds, with ammunition, with weapons, with money, with wages." At the same time, Trump emphasized: "We like the Kurds".

Turkey began its military offensive against the Kurdish People's Defense Units (YPG) in northern Syria on Wednesday. Turkey sees in it an offshoot of the banned Kurdish Workers' Party PKK in Turkey and thus a terrorist organization. She wants to set up a so-called security zone along the border and also settle Syrian refugees there who are currently living in Turkey.

The offensive was made possible by the withdrawal of US soldiers from the region ordered by Trump. The YPG militia was an important ally of the US in the fight against the jihadist militia Islamic State (IS).

Activists report at least 15 dead

During the night, the Turkish military continues its offensive. In a tweet from the Defense Ministry in Ankara early Thursday morning, it was said that “the heroic soldiers” were advancing with “Operation Peace Spring” in the east of the Euphrates River.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the start of the long-planned military operation on Wednesday afternoon via Twitter. According to activists, at least 15 people were killed in the first hours of the Turkish attacks. There are also two children among the eight civilian victims.

The mission has met with sharp criticism from around the world. Governments and institutions are calling for an immediate stop. On Thursday morning (local time) the UN Security Council in New York wants to deal with Turkey's actions. On behalf of the five EU member states of the Council - besides Germany these are Poland, Belgium, France and Great Britain - Germany applied for the topic to be addressed in a meeting, according to diplomatic circles. (AFP, dpa)

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