Trump promised to stand by Israel but defended his decision to abandon America’s Kurdish allies in Syria.
“We are standing with our close friend and partner, the State of Israel,” President Donald Trump said at the annual Values Voters Conference in Washington D.C. on Saturday night.
Trump noted his strong support for the Jewish state, including his decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
The president’s comments may allay concerns among Israeli politicians after Trump decided to pull U.S. support from Kurdish forces in Syria, which are now under attack from Turkey. While expressing support for the Kurds, Israeli officials have been apprehensive in criticizing Trump’s decision directly.
Trump defended his move in the same Saturday speech, saying “In Syria, we were supposed to be there for 30 days and we have been there for 10 years. These wars, they never end. We have to bring our great soldiers back from the never-ending wars.”
A “military engagement where we send young men and women to fight and die must have clear objectives, vital national interests and a realistic plan for how the conflict will end. We don’t want to be in 19-year wars where we serve as a policing agent for the whole country,” Trump said.
Referring to Turkey’s reported goal of clearing a strip along its border with Syria in order to transfer refugees from Syria’s civil war there, Trump said. “That 30 kilometers – 22 miles – a strip along Turkey. And the Kurds are tending to leave and that’s good. Let them have their borders. But 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. I don’t think so.”
Trump tweeted following the speech, “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. They have proven to be inept!”
Israel sees the Kurds as an ally. On October 10, President Benjamin Netanyahu’s office released a statement: “Israel is prepared to extend humanitarian assistance to the gallant Kurdish people.”
Source: World Israel News