On Wednesday, President Trump continued to distance himself and the U.S. from tensions in northeastern Syria, telling reporters at a White House photo-op in the Oval Office, “It’s not our border.” Trump provided the many reasons why the U.S. should not be involved in the fighting, saying, “So, if Russia wants to get involved with the — with Syria, that’s really up to them. They have a problem with Turkey, they have a problem at a border. It’s not our border. We shouldn’t be losing lives over it.”
The comment comes after widespread criticism of Trump’s decision to pull back U.S. troops ahead of a Turkish operation against U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces and now to withdraw nearly all American forces from the war-torn country. Trump has called for a ceasefire and peace settlement. Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien arrived in Ankara to meet Turkish officials.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declined to meet with O’Brien, who arrived Wednesday in Ankara and met with Turkey’s foreign minister. On Thursday, Erdogan will meet with Pence and Pompeo, who depart from Washington Wednesday, according to Erdogan’s communications director.
Editorial credit: Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock.com