President Trump claimed Wednesday that the purported ‘escape‘ of hundreds of ISIS terrorists from a prison in northern Syria was purposefully manufactured in order to draw US troops back into the conflict there.
While speaking in front of the press at the White House, Trump described the withdrawal of troops from Syria as “strategically brilliant,” adding that as far as ISIS is concerned “you have a lot of countries over there that hate ISIS as much as we do…So they can take care of ISIS.”
“We have them captured. The United States captured them,” Trump urged before making the claim about the purposeful release of jihadi fighters.
“Some were released just for effect to make us look a little bit like ‘oh gee, we have to get right back in there.’” The President said, again adding that “you have a lot of countries over there that have power and that hate ISIS very much, as much as we do.”
“If Turkey goes into Syria, that’s between Turkey and Syria,” the President said to reporters in the Oval Office. “It’s not between Turkey and the United States, like a lot of stupid people would like us to — would like you to believe.”
“If Russia wants to get involved with Syria, that’s really up to them,” Trump said. “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.”
“We’re in a very strategically good position,” Trump declared, deflecting claims of criticism about his decision to withdraw US troops as “fake news”.
“I know the fake news doesn’t make it look that way but we’ve removed all of our soldiers… and they’re now in a very safe location” Trump noted.
A Economist/YouGov survey released Wednesday found that 57 percent of Republicans support the President’s decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria.
A total of 25 percent of Republican respondents said they strongly approve of pulling out troops, while 32 percent stated they somewhat approve of the move.
The survey’s results show Republican lawmakers who oppose the troop pullout, such as Sens. Lindsey Graham and Mitt Romney are out of step with the majority of GOP voters.