US President Donald Trump has said it would be “fine” with him if Syria got help from Russia in Damascus’ standoff with Turkey, and appeared to further distance himself from the US’s Syrian Kurdish allies, saying they are “not angels.”
Speaking to journalists at the White House on Wednesday, Trump said that he would prefer slapping Ankara with sanctions to fighting in the region.
“If Syria wants to fight to take back their land, that’s up to them and Turkey,” he said. “there’s a lot of sand that they can play with.”
The US, Trump noted, remains prepared to help negotiate the situation in Syria. According to the president, Syria’s Kurds “are very well protected. By the way, they are not angels,” he said.
Trump also confirmed that US troops in northern Syria were “largely out” of the area where Turkish forces and Kurdish fighters were engaged in combat.
Trump signed an executive order green lighting sanctions against Turkish officials and entities on Monday over Turkey’s operation in northern Syria. Earlier Wednesday, Chair of the House Republican Committee Liz Cheney said lawmakers were preparing to introduce a bill with bipartisan support which would place sanctions on Turkey.