Trump threatens to ‘devastate’ Turkey if Kurds are attacked

Cheryl Sanders
January 14, 2019

Islamic State militants are "living their final moments" in the last enclave they hold in Syria, near the Iraqi border, where the US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces have stepped up their attacks in the last two days, an SDF official told Reuters on Sunday.

Islamic State militants are "living their final moments" in the last enclave they hold near the Iraqi border, where US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces are attacking them, an SDF official says.

Turkey had rejected the US claim that the Syrian Kurds were represented by the YPG, which Ankara sees as a terrorist organization.

He added, "Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds", but followed up in a second tweet, "Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey".

Trump tweeted Sunday that what he calls the "long overdue" US pull-out from Syria has started "while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard and from many directions".

Pompeo's remarks came after U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said that as a precondition for the U.S.' withdrawal, the protection of YPG terrorists must be assured, which drew ire from Turkish politicians, including top government officials.

"The Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke to Pompeo about the latest developments in Syria", said a brief statement from Turkey's foreign ministry. He proposed creating a 20-mile safe zone to protect the Kurds.

The president defended his decision to withdraw troops, saying any remaining IS fighters could be attacked from an unspecified "existing nearby base".

US President Donald Trump stated on Twitter that the United States have defeated the IS forces in Syria, which is the only reason for the US troops being there.

"Russia, Iran, and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long-term US policy of destroying ISIS in Syria - natural enemies", he tweeted.

But, he added, "we also know that those fighting alongside of us for all this time deserve to be protected as well". "Stop the ENDLESS WARS!"

On Friday, the US-led coalition said it had started the pullout, but officials later said only equipment, not troops, were going.

Mr Trump's comments on Sunday followed further criticism of his abrupt decision to withdraw United States forces from Syria.

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said that several dozen Islamist fighters were among those evacuated to areas held by the Kurdish-Arab alliance.

The monitor said some 300 SDF combatants had deployed near the village of Sousa in preparations for a final assault.

A spokesman for the US-led coalition said on Sunday the SDF were making "great progress. but the fight continues".

Other reports by iNewsToday