President Erdogan’s visit came amid international condemnation of the recent Turkish offensive into northern Syria, which Turkey launched after President Trump abruptly withdrew U.S. troops from the area, clearing the way for the offensive. Speaking alongside Erdogan from the Oval Office, Trump said Wednesday the only U.S. troops remaining in eastern Syria were there to protect oil.
President Donald Trump: “We’re keeping the oil. We have the oil. The oil is secure. We left troops behind only for the oil.”
President Trump also claimed that he had spoken with Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, who he said were “very satisfied” with the change in U.S. policy. The claim was directly contradicted by SDF commander Mazloum Abdi, who tweeted, “During Erdogan-@realDonaldTrump meeting, Turkish forces launched fierce attacks on predominantly Christian town of Til Temir, causing massive displacement of the residents, in clear violation of the cease-fire agreement.”