• "They didn't help us in the Second World War, they didn't help us with Normandy," Trump said of the Kurds, who played a vital role in the US-led campaign against ISIS.
  • And when asked by reporters whether he felt the Syria retreat and treatment of the Kurds sent a poor message to other US allies, Trump said, "Alliances are very easy."
  • Trump's comments came hours after Turkey launched a military operation against the formerly US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to abandon the Kurds to a Turkish military incursion in Syria by saying they didn't help the US during World War II.

This came amid reports Turkish ground troops were crossing the border into Syria following airstrikes that began earlier in the day.

"They didn't help us in the Second World War, they didn't help us with Normandy," Trump said of the Kurds. He added, "With all of that being said, we like the Kurds."

Earlier in the day, Trump in a statement released by the White House said he did not endorse the Turkish military operation and thought it was a "bad idea." But he did not reference the Kurds once, nor did he signal any immediate response from the US to thwart Turkey's actions.

The Trump administration on Sunday abruptly announced the US was withdrawing troops stationed in northeast Syria ahead of a Turkish operation. The move has been broadly condemned in Washington, including by top congressional Republicans and former Trump administration officials, as many feel Trump paved the way for Turkey to go after key US allies.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces bore the brunt of the US-led campaign against ISIS, losing roughly 11,000 fighters in the process.

On Wednesday, when asked by reporters whether he felt the Syria retreat and treatment of the Kurds sent a poor message to other US allies, Trump said, "Alliances are very easy."

This article will continue to be updated.

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