President Trump on Tuesday said that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey would be visiting the White House in mid-November, an invitation added to the calendar amid Mr. Trump’s abrupt and widely criticized decision to clear the way for a Turkish military operation against American-assisted forces in Syria.
Mr. Trump declared on Monday that it was “time for us to get out” of Syria and faced immediate backlash from Senate Republicans. His decision goes against recommendations from top officials at the State and Defense departments. American troops withdrew on Monday from posts near two Syrian towns by the Turkish border.
Defending his decision on Tuesday, Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter that Turkey, a fellow member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, has “been good to deal with, helping me to save many lives” in Idlib Province in Northern Syria, on the Turkish border. He praised Mr. Erdogan for returning an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, in 2018 after holding him for two years over accusations that he was a spy who helped terrorists.
Turkish officials said Mr. Trump made the invitation to Mr. Erdogan on Monday when the two men spoke by phone.
After the White House announced its major shift in foreign policy Monday, Mr. Trump fired off some tough-talking Twitter posts to assure critics that he was not conceding to Turkey in any way.
“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!),” he wrote.
Republican lawmakers, including two of Mr. Trump’s close allies in the Senate, Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, both spoke against Mr. Trump’s withdrawal plan. They and other Republicans argue that withdrawing from northeastern Syria the approximately 1,000 American troops stationed there would open a vacuum that could be exploited by terrorists or President Bashar al-Assad of Syria or his Russian and Iranian allies.