Trump Threatens Turkey With Economic Devastation If It Attacks Kurdish Fighters

President Donald Trump has threatened Turkey, a NATO ally, with financial devastation if it assaults U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in Syria after American troops withdraw from the nation.

His warning was met with sharp rebuke from Ankara. 

YPG, a largely Kurdish militia group, has been supporting U.S. efforts to defeat the Islamic State in northern Syria. Turkey, nonetheless, considers YPG an extension of the far-left Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an insurgency group listed as a terrorist group by NATO and the U.S.

Ankara has lengthy stated that it plans to assault the YPG in Syria — a menace it reiterated last week. “We are decided on the sector and on the desk,” stated Turkey’s overseas minister of the deliberate assault, in response to CNBC. “We will determine on its timing and we won’t obtain permission from anybody.”

Trump tweeted Sunday that the U.S. would “devastate Turkey economically in the event that they hit” its Kurdish companions. “Likewise, don’t want the Kurds to impress Turkey,” he added, noting {that a} “20-mile secure zone” could possibly be created after the Americans withdraw from Syria.

Trump, nonetheless, didn’t elaborate on this secure zone plan, together with who would construct or pay for its creation and enforcement.

Ankara on Monday responded with anger to Trump’s warning.

Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin urged in a tweet that the U.S. was making a “deadly mistake.” 

“Terrorists can’t be your companions & allies. Turkey expects the US to honor our strategic partnership and doesn’t need it to be shadowed by terrorist propaganda,” Kalin wrote.

As The New York Times noted, that is the primary time that Trump has publicly threatened Turkey over the Kurdish fighters.

His tweets threaten to undermine Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s efforts to strike an settlement with Turkey to guard the Kurds, the paper added.

Pompeo, who’s currently touring the Middle East in an effort to allay allies’ fears concerning the U.S. withdrawal from Syria, had reportedly been “optimistic” about reaching such a deal.

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