Talking to reporters on Wednesday, President Trump urged other countries to assume the battle against extremists as the US negotiates a withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“Look, India’s right there, they are not fighting it, we’re fighting it,” he said. “Pakistan is next door. They’re fighting it, very little… it’s not fair. The United States is seven thousand miles away.”
The US president gave the statement when asked about the reemergence of the Islamic State group in Iraq.
The Trump administration has reduced the US military presence in Syria and Iraq and is negotiating a US withdrawal from Afghanistan with the Taliban insurgents.
But defense authorities warn that a vacuum left by the United States could allow an extremist resurgence.
“At a certain point Russia, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, they are going to have to fight their battles too,” he reopened.
“We wiped out the caliphate 100 percent. I did it in record time. But at a certain point, all of these other countries, where ISIS is around … are going to have to fight them. Because do we want to stay there another 19 years? I don’t think so.”
President Trump also warned Europeans to take back nationals captured fighting for the Islamic State, or he will release them back to their countries.
Trump plagued France and Germany for not repatriating citizens who had fought with the Islamic State and are now being held in camps in Syria.
“We’re holding thousands of ISIS fighters right now. And Europe has to take them,” he said. “If Europe doesn’t take them, I’ll have no choice but to release them into the countries from which they came. Which are Germany and France and other places.”
“We captured them, we’ve got thousands of them, and now, as usual, our allies don’t want ’em,” Trump said. “The United States is not going to put them in Guantanamo for the next 50 years and pay for it.”