Trump says he's an 'island of one' on Syria

President Donald Trump speaks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he's an "island of one" for removing U.S. forces from northeastern Syria.

Trump's decision drew swift bipartisan criticism in the U.S. and abroad that he was endangering regional stability and risking the lives of Syrian Kurdish allies who helped the U.S. bring down the Islamic State group in Syria. But Turkey views those Kurdish fighters as terrorists and a threat to its security and has launched a military operation against them.

Trump defended his actions during a speech Saturday to social conservative activists, saying "it's time" to bring U.S. troops home from fighting "endless wars."

He sought to portray the Middle East as a hopeless cause, saying it's less safe, secure and stable despite American involvement "and they fight. That's what they do. They fight."

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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