Trump defends Middle East policy, says Islamic State is under control

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a joint news conference with Italy's President Sergio Mattarella in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

ALVARADO, Texas (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday defended his Middle East policy, as he comes under bipartisan criticism over his administration’s move to withdraw U.S. troops from northeast Syria and an agreement for a 120-hour pause to a Turkish incursion of the area.

“ISIS is totally under control and we’re continuing to capture more,” Trump said, using an acronym for Islamic State. He spoke at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a factory in Texas.

(This story corrects headline to say Trump defends Middle East policy, not Turkey)

Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by Eric Beech