Trump praises Turkey for doing a 'good job' in northern Syria
"We're getting along very well. The border and the safe zone is working out very well… and I give a lot of credit to Turkey for that. The cease-fire is holding very much. They've been doing a job. And they've been doing a good job also on the border and in the safe zone," U.S. President Trump told reporters ahead of his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in London
Speaking to reporters ahead of his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in London, Trump said that earlier today he had a bilateral meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
"It was a very good meeting," he said, adding that they discussed many issues, including the latest developments in Syria.
"We're getting along very well. The border and the safe zone is working out very well… and I give a lot of credit to Turkey for that. The cease-fire is holding very much," Trump stressed.
He defended his decision in October to pull out U.S. troops from northern Syria, saying Turkey's efforts in the region earned "great respect" from many people.
"They've been doing a job. And they've been doing a good job also on the border and in the safe zone," he stressed.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria to eliminate YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from the area, to secure the border region, and facilitate the safe return of Syrian refugees.
Under two separate deals with the U.S. and Russia, Turkey paused the operation to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from a planned Syria safe zone.
Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so the safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.
Turkey's military operation drew sharp criticism from the Pentagon, which had long supported the terrorist YPG/PKK group in the fight against Daesh in the region.
Turkey had long criticized the U.S. military involvement in northern Syria and its support for the SDF, which is controlled by the YPG terrorist group.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.