US doesn’t endorse Turkey assault, says Trump

Beirut – President Donald Trump says the US does not endorse Turkey’s assault on northern Syria and has made it clear to Ankara that its incursion against Kurdish fighters who helped the US battle the Islamic State is a “bad idea”.

In a statement on Wednesday, Trump said no American soldiers are in the area being invaded. Earlier, Trump ordered US forces out of the area, prompting criticism that he was abandoning an American ally.

Trump says he does not want the US to fight “these endless, senseless wars”.

He says he will hold Turkey to its commitment to protect civilians and religious minorities, including Christians, and ensure the invasion does not create a humanitarian crisis. He also says Turkey must make sure that IS fighters held captive in Syria remain detained.

Earlier, a US defence and a Kurdish official in Syria said the American-backed Syrian militia being attacked by Turkish forces has suspended operations against the Islamic State group.