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Donald Trump threatens to 'devastate' Turkey if Kurds are attacked

News Agencies | Updated on: 14 January 2019, 13:47 IST
Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump on Sunday (local time) threatened to "devastate Turkey economically" if it attacked the Kurds in the region.

While reiterating that the US began the pullout of its troops from Syria, Trump tweeted, "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. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe zone...."

Turkey views some Kurdish groups as terrorist organisations operating in the region. Apart from that, the Kurds, an Iranian ethnic group, found in parts of Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey, make up the majority of US-allied fighters fighting in the Syrian civil war against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, CNN reported.

"....Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey. Russia, Iran and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term U.S. policy of destroying ISIS in Syria - natural enemies. We also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home. Stop the ENDLESS WARS!" Trump added.

Earlier this week, an administration official told CNN that the first US military ground equipment has been withdrawn from the war-torn country.

Trump's impulsive decision to withdraw troops from Syria was announced on December 19 last year, after declaring the Islamic State (ISIS) to have been fully "destroyed", created a rift between him and the US military.

The previous week, Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton had announced that Washington would withdraw its troops from Syria only after defeating ISIS and ensuring that the Kurds are safe.

Bolton, who recently travelled to Israel to reassure the US ally of the Trump-ordered withdrawal, said there was no stipulated time for the pullout of American forces in Syria, but insisted that it was not an "unlimited commitment.


First published: 14 January 2019, 13:47 IST