Donald Trump threatens to 'decimate' Turkey's economy if it harms US troops, allies
resident Donald Trump on Monday (local time) warned that if Turkey harms US troops or allies in Syria during its planned military operation in the northeastern region of the war-torn country then he would obliterate the country's economy.
"I think there's a lot of pressure on Turkey. They have been fighting with the PKK for many years. They're natural enemies," the president was quoted as saying by TASS news agency.
"But I have told Turkey that if they do anything outside of what we would think is humane <...> they could suffer the wrath of an extremely decimated economy," Trump added.
According to Trump, the US has been putting sufficient pressure on Ankara.
"We've been in Syria for many years. You know, Syria was supposed to be a short-term hit - just a very short-term hit. And we were supposed to be in and out. That was many, many years ago. And we only have 50 people in that area. That's a small sector," the president said.
"And I don't want those 50 people hurt or killed or anything. I don't want anything bad to happen to our people. And I told that to President Erdogan. I said, 'Don't hurt any of our - any of our people get hurt, big trouble,' he added.
The Turkish jets earlier on Monday reportedly destroyed two bridges at the Samalka checkpoint on the border between Syria and Iraq.
Last week, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan had announced that Ankara may launch a military operation in Syria in the coming days to clear the border area of Kurdish fighters.
Meanwhile, the White House on Sunday said that US forces would not support the Turkish military operation and would withdraw from the area.
The SDF has said that Turkey's planned military operation in Syria's northern and eastern areas would have a "significant negative impact" on the war against the Daesh terrorist group and would "destroy all the stability achieved during the past years".
The United States began withdrawing its forces deployed with Syrian Kurds in the north of Syria and the White House announced that Turkey was free to move forward with its long-planned military operation.
On August 7, Turkey and the United States agreed to create a safe zone in northern Syria after months of tensions between the two countries over the presence of Kurdish militants, considered to be terrorists by Ankara. However, the deal has not yet been fully implemented.