Published: Wed, October 09, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

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

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

He also insisted that the United States had not "abandoned the Kurds".

Shortly after Trump spoke on the phone with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday, the White House issued a statement saying Turkey would soon be moving ahead with its "long-planned operation in Northern Syria" and that US forces would "no longer be in the immediate area".

For Turkey, which views Kurdish YPG fighters in northeast Syria as terrorists due to their ties to militants waging an insurgency inside Turkey, an influx of non-Kurdish Syrians would help it secure a buffer against its main security threat. "The TSK will never tolerate the establishment of a terror corridor on our borders".

Turkey has said it intends to create a "safe zone" in order to return millions of refugees to Syrian soil, but the scheme has alarmed some Western allies and military analysts as much as the risks posed by the military operation itself.

The Turkish military, together with the Free Syrian Army, will cross the Syrian border "shortly", President Tayyip Erdogan's communications director said early on Wednesday, as Ankara starts a military incursion in the region.

The first phase of the Turkish attack is expected to begin along a 120km stretch between the border towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain - the same area that USA forces evacuated on Donald Trump's orders on Monday.

On Monday, Trump said that getting the U.S. out of military conflicts was the reason he was elected president.

"Over 300,000 Syrian Kurds were sent to Turkey as refugees because they disagreed with them", he said.

The comment appeared to be a response to Mr Trump's earlier threat to target the Turkish economy, reportedly an attempt by the president to placate domestic criticism, including from Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

On Monday, Trump threatened to "obliterate" Turkey's economy if it did "anything outside of what we would think is humane".

"We may be in the process of leaving Syria, but in no way have we Abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters", he added later.

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Giving details of the overnight strike, a security official said one of the main goals was to cut off the transit route between Iraq and Syria "before the operation in Syria".

Trump's decision to withdraw troops from northeast Syria has rattled allies, including France, one of Washington's main partners in the US -led coalition fighting Islamic State.

"Naturally our preparations are along the length of the border with Turkey, and our forces are in a state of readiness", Mr Bali told Reuters.

The US president replied to a tweet by "Twitter Moments" which claimed that the White House said Ankara will be moving forward with its incoming operation and will take responsibility for all Daesh fighters they capture.

Meanwhile, a report by Bloomberg citing a Turkish official speaking on condition of anonymity says Turkish troops have begun crossing into northeastern Syria to force back the Kurds in the border area.

Trump has defended his decision to remove USA troops from the area, saying he was "not siding with anybody" - Kurdish forces or the Turkish government - and reiterated an earlier warning to Turkey about potential economic devastation.

Iran, another Assad ally, voiced opposition to any Turkish military operation in Syria.

"What aggravates the operational risks is the deep-running mistrust between Turkey and the USA", said Nihat Ali Ozcan, a strategist at the Economic Policy Research Foundation in Ankara.

Aboul Gheit said the planned incursion also threatens to inflame further conflicts in eastern and northern Syria, and "could allow for the revival" of the Islamic State group.

Lavrov didn't directly address the issue of Turkey's anticipated invasion into northeastern Syria but said that Moscow is encouraging the Kurds and the Syrian government to settle their difference through talks.

Russian Federation criticizes "reckless attitude" of U.S.

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