US President Donald Trump defended his decision to withdraw troops from Syria, describing the country as nothing more than «sand and death» at a cabinet meeting in Washington DC on Wednesday. «Syria was lost long ago. It was lost long ago. We're talking about sand and death. That's what we're talking about. We're not talking about vast wealth. We're talking about sand and death,» explained the... Еще US president. «The Kurds, our partners, are selling oil to Iran. We're not thrilled about that. I'm not happy about it at all. At the same time, they fight better when we fight with them,» he added. However, Trump said he wanted «protect» US-backed Kurdish fighters, but did not wanted to remain in Syria «forever». His latest comments follow the announcement in December that the US military would begin its withdrawal from Syria. The decision shocked many US allies and the defence establishment, prompting then defence secretary Jim Mattis to resign. The Kurds reacted with consternation, calling the move a «blatant betrayal». Some 2,000 US military personnel are thought to be stationed in Syria.