Published On: Tue, Oct 8th, 2019

Trump promises to ‘obliterate’ Turkish economy if troops go 'off limits’ in northern Syria


The US President fired off the extraordinary threat in an explosive social media post after being accused of abandoning Washington’s Kurdish allies by pulling US troops out of Syria and paving the way for Turkish military action in the war-ravaged region. The withdrawal leaves Kurdish-led forces vulnerable to a planned incursion by the Turkish military which views them as terrorists.

Mr Trump’s fiery words seemed to be aimed at giving some reassurance to critics who accused him of cutting adrift the fighters who spearheaded a bloody and hard-won ground campaign against ISIS.

The decision drew condemnation from Democrats and a rare rebuke from some of Mr Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The president tweeted: “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!). They must, with Europe and others, watch over…”

Speaking later at the White House, Mr Trump said he had told President Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call that Turkey could suffer the “wrath of an extremely decimated economy” if it acted in Syria in a way that was not humane.

Defending the withdrawal, he said his ultimate goal was to fulfil a campaign promise to bring all troops home.

He said: ”We’re like a police force over there. We’re not fighting. We’re policing.”

READ MORE: Trump launches defence of Syria withdrawal amid heavy criticism 

Mr Erdogan said he planned to visit Washington to meet Mr Trump early next month. He said the two leaders would discuss plans for a “safe zone” in Syria.

Ankara and Washington have clashed over a range of issues in recent months, including Syria and Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile defence system.

Turkey has repeatedly threatened to attack US-backed Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria who have links to Kurdish separatists operating in Turkey.



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