President Trump threatened Turkey with strict economic sanctions if it attacks Kurdish militaries in Syria after American troops retreat from the country in the coming months. “Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter, signifying that there would be a 20-mile safe zone around the group after American forces leave. He added, “Likewise, do not want the Kurds to incite Turkey.” “Starting the long unsettled pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS local caliphate hard, and from many directions. Will attack again from current nearby base if it reforms,” the President wrote on Sunday.
The US troop extraction has left America’s Kurdish associates vulnerable to an attack from Turkey. Ankara observations the Kurdish forces as terrorists aligned with insurgents inside Turkey. Trump also warned ISIS that America would hit them hard from neighboring military bases if it recovers momentum. Mr. Trump’s tweets marked the first public risk toward Turkey, a NATO ally, over the Kurds and appeared to offer a blanket of protection for the group, a band of American-backed mercenaries that the Turkish government sees as terrorists.
President Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin responded in a tweet, saying Turkey expected the US to “honour our strategic partnership”. “Terrorists can’t be your partners and allies,” he said. President Trump shocked allies and tackled strong criticism at home last month when he ordered US forces to instantly begin withdrawing from the around 30% of Syria controlled by the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance. Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan widely lashed out at U.S. national security adviser John Bolton for saying the U.S. withdrawal was liable upon Turkey’s pledge not to damage US-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria once troops leave. “Bolton made a serious mistake. If he thinks that way, he is in a big blunder. We will not compromise,” Erdoğan said.
“Russia, Syria, and Iran have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term U.S. policy of abolishing ISIS in Syria – natural enemies. We also value but it is now time to bring our troops back home. Stop the ENDLESS WARS!” Trump continued in the second tweet.