Trump Warns Turkey Not to Attack Kurds in Syria

from The Wall Street Journal,

‘Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds,’ the president said on Twitter, while also calling on Kurds not to provoke Ankara.

President Trump vowed on Sunday to devastate Turkey’s economy if it targets Kurdish populations in northern Syria as the U.S. withdraws its forces, and called for a 20-mile safe zone between the Turkish border and U.S.-allied fighters. The president on Twitter also called upon America’s Kurdish allies not to provoke Turkey, and said U.S. forces were continuing to fight Islamic State militants in Syria. “Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions. Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms,” he said. “Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe zone…Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey.” Early Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said Turkey would continue to fight the U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish militia, known as YPG. “[Mr. Trump], terrorists can’t be your partners & allies. Turkey expects the U.S. to honor our strategic partnership and doesn’t want it to be shadowed by terrorist propaganda,” spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said in a statement. “There is no difference between DAESH, PKK, PYD and YPG. We will continue to fight against them all,” he said, using acronyms for Islamic State and Kurdish groups.

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