Mubasher: President Donald Trump warned Turkey that it faces economic devastation if it attacks Kurdish forces in Syria after the US withdrawal.
“Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions,” President Trump said via Twitter on late Sunday, adding that the US “will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms.”
Trump announced last December that the US would pull out from Syria, causing confusion among allies and rivals as well.
In a separate tweet, the US president warned the Kurds against provoking Turkey.
“Russia, Iran and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term US policy of destroying ISIS in Syria - natural enemies [and] we also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home,” Trump added in his second tweet.
In response to Trump’s latest tweets, the Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that his country is in a fight “against terrorists, not Kurds.”
“Mr. Trump, terrorists can’t be your partners & allies,” Kalin said on Twitter, adding that “It is a fatal mistake to equate Syrian Kurds” with the YPG, the Syrian branch of a militant organisation that Turkey has fought for more than three decades.
The US outsourced much of the fighting against the Islamic State to a group called the YPG, which is considered by Turkey as an extension of the PKK, a separatist Kurdish militant group, designated as a terrorist organisation by Washington and Ankara.
In recent years, the relations between the US and Turkey have gone through ups and downs, with Washington’s support to the YPG being one of the main sources of the spat.
The strained ties between the two NATO allies took a heavy toll on the Turkish economy last year, as the US sanctions against Turkish government officials over the detention US evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson brought the country to the brink of an all-out currency crisis.