Trump calls Turkey's military action 'a bad idea'

US President Donald Trump says his country "does not endorse" the Turkish military's offensive into northern Syria and "has made it clear" to the country that the operation is "a bad idea."

Trump issued a statement on Wednesday after Turkey launched the operation. It says Turkey "invaded" Syria.

He also said "there are no American soldiers in the area," and that he did not want to fight "these endless, senseless wars -- especially those that don't benefit the United States."

He noted that Turkey has committed to protecting civilians and religious minorities, and ensuring no humanitarian crisis takes place. He called on Turkey to follow through on this commitment.

Trump had indicated tacit approval for the operation. But this drew fierce criticism that he was betraying the Kurdish forces, which have helped the United States fight terrorism.

Observers say Trump is now trying to distance himself from the Turkish military action.