Trump slams U.S.-allied Kurds as ‘not angels’

President Donald Trump on Wednesday insulted Kurdish forces under siege by the Turkish military in northern Syria, remarking from the Oval Office that those U.S.-allied soldiers who led the charge against Islamic State fighters in the region are “not angels.” “The Kurds know how to fight, and as I said, they’re not angels,” Trump told…

President Donald Trump on Wednesday insulted Kurdish forces under siege by the Turkish military in northern Syria, remarking from the Oval Office that those U.S.-allied soldiers who led the charge against Islamic State fighters in the region are “not angels.”

“The Kurds know how to fight, and as I said, they’re not angels,” Trump told reporters, appearing alongside Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

“They’re not angels, if you take a look. You have to go back and take a look. But they fought with us, and we paid a lot of money for them to fight with us, and that’s OK,” he continued. “They did well when they fought with us. They didn’t do so well when they didn’t fight with us.”

The incendiary comments marked perhaps the president’s most dismissive defense of his widely condemned decision earlier this month to allow Turkey to invade Syria, and come just days after the Pentagon’s announcement that Trump had directed the evacuation of the last U.S. troops still stationed in the West Asian nation.

Since the American withdrawal and facing a sustained onslaught from Turkish forces, the Syrian Kurdish militias have now aligned with President Bashar al-Assad’s government in Damascus — a geopolitical rival of Washington backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Facing bipartisan pressure from Congress to punish Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his incursion into Syria and slaughter of the Kurds, Trump signed an executive order Monday imposing “powerful” sanctions against Turkey. But Democratic lawmakers remain largely unsatisfied by the White House’s economic penalties against the NATO ally.

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