By Michael Hernandez
U.S. President Donald Trump tore into Russia and Iran for bolstering the Syrian regime Wednesday, saying Bashar al-Assad’s allies have enabled his “butchery.”
Trump told the UN Security Council the “Syrian regime’s butchery is enabled by Russia and Iran” during a session devoted to discussing non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The president further thanked Turkey for helping to avoid a regime offensive in northwestern Syrian’s Idlib province.
“Get the terrorists, but I hope the restraint continues. The world is watching,” he said. “Thank you also to Turkey for helping to negotiate restraint. Anything the U.S.A. can do to help resolve this problem in order to save perhaps even hundreds of thousands of lives, maybe more, we are willing and able. We are available to help.”
In Idlib, most of which is under the Free Syrian Army (FSA)’s control, is located just across the border from Turkey’s Hatay province.
Currently, Idlib is Syria’s last opposition stronghold. The east, west and south of the city remain under siege by Iranian-backed militants, roughly 60,000 of whom have been deployed around Idlib.
While the moderate opposition has more than 70,000 fighters in the region, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other groups widely considered to be terrorist organizations can field some 20,000 fighters.
Trump further alleged China is attempting to interfere in the U.S.’s upcoming November midterm elections in over trade disputes with his administration.
“They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade,” he said. “We don’t want them to meddle or interfere in our upcoming election.”
The comments are the first time the U.S. has publicly said China is seeking to interfere in the pending polls.