President Trump angered critics including fellow Republicans with bizarre remarks Wednesday downplaying the importance of the alliance between US and Kurdish forces against ISIS, and of alliances in general. The president defended his decision to allow a Turkish offensive in northern Syria by pointing out that Kurdish fighters did not assist the US in military operations like the D-Day landings. "They didn't help us in the Second World War, they didn't help us with Normandy for example," Trump said. "They're there to help us with their land, and that's a different thing." Business Insider notes that Normandy is around 2,500 miles from the Kurdistan region, and isn't part of the US. "With all of that being said, we like the Kurds," Trump added. More:
- Asked whether he felt abandoning the Kurds sent a worrying message to other US allies, Trump replied: "Alliances are easy," adding that it will be easy for the US to form new ones. He also said America's "alliances" have "taken tremendous advantages of us."
- The BBC reports that Turkey has stepped up airstrikes and ground attacks on the second day of the offensive, which is believed to have killed at least seven civilians. Tens of thousands of people have fled the area.