Trump says U. S. neutral since Baghdad and Kurds clash

Trump says U.S. neutral as Baghdad and Kurds clash

WASHINGTON � President Trump announced Monday that the United States is not choosing sides in the armed dispute among Iraqi Kurds and the government within Baghdad, an escalating feud which could complicate the final battlefield push in order to wipe out the so-called Islamic Condition.

“We don’t like the fact that they’re clashing. We’re not taking sides, but we don’t like the fact that they’re clashing,” Trump told reporters throughout a hastily called press conference within the White House Rose Garden.

The president had been asked about concerns the Baghdad government’s military drive in order to retake the province of Kirkuk from Kurdish forces would elevate, potentially drawing in neighboring Chicken and Iran. The Kurdish group, whose peshmerga forces have have scored repeated victories over ISIS practitioners, voted overwhelmingly three weeks back for independence from Baghdad. The us had urged the Kurds in order to postpone the nonbinding referendum, which usually Iraq’s central government dismissed since illegal.

“We’ve had, for many years, a very good relationship with the Kurds, as you know,” Trump said. “And we’ve also been on the side of Iraq, even though we should have never been there — we should never have been there — but we’re not taking sides in that battle.”

President Trump speaks with reporters within the Rose Garden of the White Home, Oct. 16, 2017, in Wa. (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)

His comments emerged after Iraqi forces â€? soldiers, tanks and armored vehicles â€? retook the Kirkuk governor’s workplace and oil facilities from Kurdish separatists. In the aftermath of Saddam Hussein’s ouster, Kurds in north Iraq were given relative autonomy through the central government.

The U. Ersus. -led military coalition against ISIS had staked out similarly natural ground earlier in the day, saying it was “not supporting Government of Iraq or Kurdistan Regional Government activities near Kirkuk.”

In a statement, the particular coalition said it was “aware of reports of a limited exchange of fire during predawn hours” â€? fighting that reportedly left a few Kurdish fighters dead.

“We believe the engagement this morning was a misunderstanding and not deliberate as two elements attempted to link up under limited visibility conditions,” the particular coalition said in a statement that will urged all sides to “avoid escalatory actions” and to “remain focused on the defeat of our common enemy, ISIS, in Iraq.”

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