President Donald Trump on Monday defended his administration’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops out of northern Syria and warned Turkey that he will “totally destroy and obliterate” if it engages in activities deemed “off limits” in the war-torn country.
On Sunday, the White House announced it will pull U.S troops out of northern Syria ahead of a Turkish military advance to expel Kurdish forces from the area.
In a statement after a telephone call between President Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the White House stated it would neither support nor interfere with the operation.
“Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria,” read the statement. “The United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial ‘Caliphate,’ will no longer be in the immediate area.”