STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

President Trump defends decision to abandon Kurds in Syria

President Donald Trump is casting his decision to abandon Kurdish fighters in Syria as fulfilling a campaign promise to withdraw from "endless war" in the Middle East.

Posted: Oct 8, 2019 3:41 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on President Donald Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops from northern Syria (all times local):

8:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump is casting his decision to abandon Kurdish fighters in Syria as fulfilling a campaign promise to withdraw from "endless war" in the Middle East.

But Republican critics and others say he is sacrificing a U.S. ally and undermining American credibility.

Trump has declared U.S. troops will step aside for an expected Turkish attack on the Kurds, who have fought alongside Americans for years. But he has also threatened to destroy the Turks' economy if they go too far.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina calls Trump's action a "shot in the arm to the bad guys."

Pentagon and State Department officials are holding out the possibility of persuading Turkey to abandon its expected invasion.

__

4:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump is warning Turkey that there will be "big trouble" if any American personnel in Syria are injured, as Turkey prepares to mount an operation against Kurdish fighters who had been allied with the U.S. against the Islamic State.

Trump is dismissing the suggestion that he is siding with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the American-allied Kurds.

He says, "I'm not siding with anybody."

Trump is also issuing a veiled threat to Turkey to constrain its assault, warning, "If Turkey does anything out of what they should be doing, we'll hit them so hard on the economy."

Trump says he's trying to fulfil a campaign pledge to return American troops home.

___

2:25 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is opposing President Donald Trump's plan to pull U.S. troops from northern Syria. It's a rare policy split between the Senate's top Republican and Trump.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is also against Trump's decision. But the California Democrat is using far stronger language than McConnell.

McConnell says an early U.S. withdrawal "would only benefit Russia, Iran" and Syrian President Bashar Assad, who's waged an eight-year civil war against Syrian opposition forces. The Kentucky Republican says it would make it easier for ISIS to rebuild. McConnell says U.S. interests are not well served by "retreat or withdrawal."

Pelosi says a withdrawal is "reckless" and would "betray" Kurds who have helped fight ISIS. She calls it "a foolish attempt to appease an authoritarian strongman" - a seeming reference to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

___

12:20 p.m.

The Pentagon says it is still trying to talk Turkey out of invading northeastern Syria.

In a written statement Monday, Pentagon chief spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said the U.S. does not endorse a Turkish military operation in Syria and will not support it.

Hoffman says Defense Secretary Mark Esper and the Joint Chiefs chairman, Gen. Mark Milley, told their Turkish counterparts that unilateral military action in the Kurdish area of Syria "creates risks" for Turkey.

Hoffman says the Pentagon will work with allies and coalition partner nations to reiterate to Turkey that its potential military operation in Syria would have "possible destabilizing consequences" for Turkey and for the region.

___

12:06 p.m.

President Donald Trump is threatening to destroy the economy of Turkey if it does not watch over captured Islamic State fighters and their families detained in Syria.

In a tweet Monday, Trump said: "If Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey."

Trump defended his sudden decision to pull back U.S. troops from northern Syria, clearing the way for an expected Turkish military invasion against Kurdish forces. They were backed by the U.S., but Turkey views them as terrorists and a threat to the country.

Democrats and Republicans warn that a Turkish attack could lead to a massacre of the Kurds, who are holding thousands of captured IS fighters and their families.

__

11:20 a.m.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a top Republican ally of President Donald Trump, is threatening legislation to impose economic sanctions on Turkey if it invades Syria. Graham has Democratic allies and warned that any congressional vote would be overwhelming.

Trump decided to pull back U.S. troops from northern Syria, clearing the way for an expected Turkish assault and essentially abandoning Kurdish fighters who fought alongside American forces to defeat the Islamic State.

His announcement immediately drew pushback from Republican lawmakers.

Graham said Monday that Trump's moves are a "disaster in the making" that would empower IS and Syria. He said he's already spoken to Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen about drafting the sanctions legislation. Graham said on Twitter that "sanctions against Turkey - if necessary - would be veto-proof."

Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney also weighed in, saying Trump's "decision to abandon our Kurd allies in the face of an assault by Turkey is a betrayal."

___

9:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump is defending his decision to pull back U.S. troops from northern Syria, clearing the way for an expected Turkish assault and essentially abandoning Kurdish fighters who fought alongside American forces to defeat the Islamic State.

The move drew immediate outrage from some of the Republican president's closest allies in Congress, with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham calling the decision "a disaster."

Syria's Kurds accuse the U.S. of turning its back on its allies and risking gains made in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Trump defended the move in a series of tweets, acknowledging that "The Kurds fought with us" but claiming they "were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 9636

Reported Deaths: 209
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah236169
Marion159547
Washington149120
Clackamas79524
Umatilla6674
Union3551
Lincoln3452
Deschutes2010
Lane1963
Malheur1601
Linn1569
Polk15412
Jackson1400
Yamhill1328
Jefferson1310
Klamath1251
Benton915
Hood River880
Wasco851
Morrow821
Clatsop490
Douglas450
Josephine441
Coos420
Columbia350
Lake200
Tillamook130
Crook120
Wallowa100
Curry80
Baker40
Sherman20
Grant10
Harney10
Gilliam00
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 250514

Reported Deaths: 6315
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1078063457
Riverside19450479
Orange15778360
San Diego15696387
San Bernardino13676269
Imperial6979105
Alameda6472140
Fresno562677
Kern510080
Santa Clara4849160
Tulare4627136
San Joaquin447455
San Francisco377650
Sacramento355969
San Mateo3441108
Contra Costa343279
Santa Barbara326129
Ventura324047
Marin271019
Kings258332
Stanislaus239144
Monterey179115
Solano147625
Merced127211
Sonoma126710
Placer78611
San Luis Obispo7012
Yolo58324
Madera5665
Santa Cruz4173
Napa3444
San Benito2572
Lassen2340
Butte2063
El Dorado2060
Sutter2063
Humboldt1444
Shasta1354
Nevada1231
Glenn1220
Yuba1031
Tehama881
Lake850
Mendocino850
Colusa700
Calaveras530
Del Norte511
Tuolumne430
Mono411
Inyo331
Siskiyou310
Mariposa271
Amador260
Plumas110
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 67°
Brookings
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 51°
Crater Lake
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 51°
Grants Pass
Scattered Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 61°
Klamath Falls
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 51°
Sunny weather continues Sunday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events