Trump tries to distance himself from chaos in Syria as tensions with lawmakers in both parties escalate

President Trump on Wednesday attempted to distance himself from the escalating chaos in northern Syria following his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the region and lashed out at lawmakers critical of the decision, including during an extraordinary White House meeting that ended in acrimony.

In remarks in the Oval Office early in the day, Trump insisted that the ongoing conflict between Turkey and the Kurds was “over land that has nothing to do with us” and that the Kurds, who served as a U.S. ally against the Islamic State, were “no angels.”

“There’s a lot of sand that they can play with,” Trump saidas he sat alongside Italian President Sergio Mattarella, whom the White House was hosting for a visit Wednesday. “. . . It’s possibly never going to be very stable.”

Trump’s decision this month to pull U.S. troops from northern Syria has led to a cascade of bipartisan criticism as worries grow that Turkey’s military offensive will lead to the slaughter of Kurds and the release of Islamic State fighters currently jailed in the region.

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