In Summary
  • Trump triggered the week-long Turkish offensive against the Kurds by withdrawing US troops from northeast Syria.
  • More than 500 people have been killed in the week-long offensive by Turkey before it called a ceasefire on Thursday.
  • Trump has come under bipartisan fire in Washington for abruptly pulling US troops in Syria near the Turkish border.

Dallas

US President Donald Trump Thursday welcomed the temporary ceasefire in northern Syria and said he allowed Turkish and Kurdish forces to clash in deadly battle because they were like children who needed to fight each other.

"It was unconventional what I did. I said they're going to have to fight a little while," Trump told a rally of supporters in Dallas, Texas.

"Like two kids in a lot, you have got to let them fight and then you pull them apart."

"They fought for a few days and it was pretty vicious."

Trump triggered the week-long Turkish offensive against the Kurds by withdrawing US troops from northeast Syria.

NO AMERICAN CASUALTIES

More than 500 people have been killed, including dozens of civilians, mostly on the Kurdish side, and 300,000 civilians have been displaced within Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor.

Trump stressed that "not one drop of American blood" was shed.

Earlier he hailed the announcement that Turkey had agreed to suspend its offensive, calling it a "great day" for the Turks and the Kurds.

"We have a five-day ceasefire," Trump told reporters, after Vice President Mike Pence said Ankara had agreed to suspend its military operation, and end it entirely once Kurdish fighters withdraw from a safe zone along the Turkey-Syria border.

"It's a great day for the United States," the president said in Fort Worth, Texas, ahead of a re-election rally.

"It's a great day for Turkey," Trump said. "It's a great day for the Kurds. It's a great day for civilization."

Page 1 of 2