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Trump threatens to “obliterate the economy of Turkey”

Following the US call to withdraw troops from Northern Syria, President Donald Trump has faced a barrage of criticism and has responded by warning that if Turkey “does anything […] I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey”.

The US withdrawal of troops from Northern Syria was granted after President Trump had a conversation with Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday. In return for the US withdrawal, Turkey would claim custody of all captured IS fighters. 

Read more here: US to allow Turkish assault into Kurdish territory

In response to accusations that the US had betrayed their Kurdish, allies who had helped them to fight ISIS, President Trump said on Twitter:

“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!). They must, with Europe and others, watch over …
...the captured ISIS fighters and families. The U.S. has done far more than anyone could have ever expected, including the capture of 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. It is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory. THE USA IS GREAT!”

Trump has faced a barrage of criticism from both parties, including senior Republican officials such as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Lindsey Graham and former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.

McConnell urged Trump to reverse his decision stating "a precipitous withdrawal of US forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham stated :

"I urge the President to exercise American leadership to keep together our multinational coalition to defeat ISIS and prevent significant conflict between our NATO ally Turkey and our local Syrian counterterrorism partners […]

Major new conflict between Turkey and our partners in Syria would seriously risk damaging Turkey's ties to the United States and causing greater isolation for Turkey on the world stage.

Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, Jonathan Hoffman, has criticised the move stating:

"The Department of Defense made clear to Turkey - as did the President - that we do not endorse a Turkish operation in Northern Syria. The U.S. Armed Forces will not support, or be involved in any such operation,"

Read more here and here.