Trump threatens to ‘totally destroy and obliterate’ Turkey’s economy over Syria

Trump threatens to ‘totally destroy and obliterate’ Turkey’s economy over Syria

Trump threatens to ‘totally destroy and obliterate’ Turkey’s economy over Syria

The White House on Sunday said Turkey would "soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation" in northern Syria.

"The United States will not hold them for what could be many years and great cost to the United States taxpayer", the statement said.

Turkey has long called for the partner with it in the fight against Daesh, a terror group Ankara has worked to root out, arresting and deporting its members within Turkey. It now hosts 3.6 million Syrians sheltering from Syria's more than eight-year conflict.

Mr Trump's surprise move - described by the main Kurdish-led group as a "stab in the back" - goes against the advice of senior officials in the Pentagon and state department.

But, Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who also has troops in Syria and who stands to gain influence there if the United States pulls back, praised Trump's initiative.

Republicans and Democrats have long warned that allowing a Turkish attack could lead to a massacre of the Kurds and send a troubling message to American allies across the globe. The other United States forces in the region were still in position for now, the official said.

It said that extremists detained in northeast Syria, including foreigners, should be tried where their crimes were committed.

But two months later, the White House said Mr Trump had chose to let Turkish troops cross into Syria to set up a safe zone alone.

But the USA has relied on the Kurdish fighters who lead the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as its most effective partner in the fight against ISIS in Syria.

In its statement, the White House made clear it would stand aside when its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey moves in.

The SDF is led by the Syrian Kurdish Militia YPG, who the Turkish government considers to be a terrorist organization.

Ankara and Washington remain at odds over how far the zone should extend into Syria and who should control it.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, called on Trump to "reverse this risky decision" to withdraw, saying in a statement that it threatened regional security and sent a message to Iran and Russian Federation, as well as U.S. allies, that the United States is no longer a trusted partner.

In December, Mr. Trump announced he was pulling American troops out of Syria but was met with widespread condemnation for abandoning Kurdish allies to the Turkish assault. They include about 2,500 highly unsafe foreign fighters from Europe and elsewhere - their native countries have been reluctant to take them back - and about 10,000 captured fighters from Syria and Iraq.

Turkey's presidential spokesman said on October 7 about Turkey's potential operation to northern Syria that Turkey does not have designs on any country's territory.

When commanders and allies expressed concern about the fate of the Kurds, he vowed to "devastate Turkey economically" it attacked them and proposed a "20-mile safe zone" along the border.

The announcement followed a phone call between President Donald Trump and Erdogan, the White House said.

Turkey says the United States moved too slowly to set up the zone and repeatedly warned of launching an offensive on its own into northeast Syria.

"I want to make sure we keep our word for those who fight with us and help us", he said, adding that, "If you make a commitment and somebody is fighting with you, America should keep their word".

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