Furious Trump lashes out at Syria withdrawal criticism
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday lashed out against criticism over his decision to pull back US troops from north-eastern Syria, saying America's "stupid endless wars" are coming to an end.
Turkey on Wednesday launched its long-threatened offensive after Trump gave what was widely seen as a green light at the weekend, ordering the pullback of US troops who had previously served as a buffer.
But Trump's decision prompted a critical backlash, with senior Republican figures decrying the move.
Senator Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally, told 'Fox & Friends' that if Trump "follows through with this, it would be the biggest mistake of his presidency."
In tweets, Graham urged prayers for "our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump Administration," adding, "This move ensures the reemergence of ISIS."
Senator Mitt Romney also blasted Trump's Syria strategy, saying the "decision to abandon our Kurd allies in the face of an assault by Turkey is a betrayal".
"It says that America is an unreliable ally; it facilitates ISIS resurgence; and it presages another humanitarian disaster,” he wrote on Twitter.
Trump took to social media to lash out at the criticism, insisting he was focused on the "BIG PICTURE" that doesn't include American involvement in "stupid endless wars" in the Middle East.
"Fighting between various groups that has been going on for hundreds of years. USA should never have been in Middle East," Trump said in a series of morning tweets. "The stupid endless wars, for us, are ending!"
Trump argued on Twitter that "GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY!" He said the US went to war under a "false & now disproven premise, WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. There were NONE!"
Trump said he is "slowly & carefully" bringing home "our great soldiers & military," in line with his campaign promise to do so.
He added: "Our focus is on the BIG PICTURE! THE USA IS GREATER THAN EVER BEFORE!"
The US has more than 10,000 troops based across the Middle East, including about 5,200 in Iraq, 1,000 in Syria and several thousand others at bases in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Also, the US Navy's Mideast headquarters is at Bahrain in the Persian Gulf.
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