Trump threatens to 'obliterate' Turkey's economy

Share

Early on Monday, US-backed Kurdish led forces in Syria said US troops had begun withdrawing from areas along Turkey's border. They include about 2,500 highly unsafe foreign fighters from Europe and elsewhere - their native countries have been reluctant to take them back - and about 10,000 captured fighters from Syria and Iraq.

"We never had a conflict", said Haley, who previously served as SC governor. "I held off this fight for nearly three years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars".

The Turks would become responsible for all Islamic State (IS) group prisoners in the area, the United States statement said.

In August, Turkey and the US agreed to create a safe zone in Kurdish controlled Syria along the Turkish border to settle some two million Syrian refugees.

Democrats and Republicans warn that a Turkish attack could lead to a massacre of the Kurds, who are holding thousands of captured IS fighters and their families.

Syria's Kurds, who were the United States' main allies in fighting ISIS in the region, warned that Trump's decision late Sunday to pull out of Syria could jeopardize their gains in the fight against the Islamic State group.

The US "has pressed France, Germany, and other European nations.to take them back, but they did not want them and refused", the White House said.

The YPG was a major part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the US-supported force that defeated IS in Syria.

Turkey launched cross-border offensives in 2016 and 2018 against ISIS and Kurdish Syrian forces, respectively.

Joe Biden fires back at Donald Trump over repeated Ukraine accusations
President Donald Trump answers questions while departing the White House in Washington on October 3, 2019 . President Donald Trump is calling on China to probe former Vice-President Joe Biden .

But the Kurds argue that Turkey's goal is to weaken the Kurdish presence in the region by modifying the demographics of the area with the return of mostly Sunni Arab refugees.

A Turkish official later said the USA withdrawal could take one week, and Turkey would likely wait until it had been completed before launching an offensive. Graham, who has previously recognized the "legitimate national security threat to Turkey" in northeastern Syria, threatened Ankara with economic sanctions that he expects would be supported by a veto-proof majority in Congress.

He said he planned to visit Washington to meet Trump in the first half of November where they would discuss plans for the "safe zone".

"This decision to abandon our Kurdish allies and turn Syria over to Russia, Iran, & Turkey will put every radical Islamist on steroids".

"The protection of the populations of north-eastern Syria and the stability of this zone must be taken into account by the United States to avoid any new humanitarian drama", the French foreign ministry said then.

The two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have conflicting views on the Kurds in the area, since the U.S. has been arming and protecting them for years - much to Ankara's discontent.

"Let us be clear: The president has sided with authoritarian leaders of Turkey and Russian Federation over our loyal allies and America's own interests", tweeted Clinton, who has continued to be at odds with Trump.

The Kurdish-led forces who helped the United States defeat ISIL in Syria have accused Washington of reneging on its commitments by pulling out troops from the country's northeast and clearing the way for a Turkish assault on the Kurdish-controlled region.

The White House did not give a timeframe for the anticipated invasion.

Share