US President Donald Trump said at a press conference in Osaka on Saturday that he saved Syrian Kurds from being wiped out by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with whom he has a personal relationship.
“He had a 65,000-man army at the border, and he was going to wipe out the Kurds, who helped us with [the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)],” Trump told reporters on Saturday at the G-20 summit in Japan.
“And I called him and I asked him not to do it. They are, I guess, natural enemies of his or Turkey’s. And he hasn’t done it.”
Turkey has launched two military offensives in northern Syria targeting the Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG), a US ally against ISIL.
Erdoğan threatened Kurds with a third operation east of the Euphrates River after the US decided to pull its troops out of the region.