Trump: Removal of 50 U.S. troops puts heat on Turkey

by WorldTribune Staff, October 8, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump said he will be watching closely what Turkey does militarily in northern Syria after the U.S. announced it will pull its troops out of the area.

President Donald Trump: ‘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.’ / C-SPAN

Trump said there would be “big trouble” if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s forces do anything inhumane. The president also said in an Oct. 8 tweet that the U.S. is not abandoning Kurds in the region.

The White House announced late Sunday night that the U.S. will pull back its forces, opening the door for a major operation by the Turkish military against Kurds which Ankara considers terrorists.

Trump’s move was criticized by prominent Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who argued the withdrawal from Syria would only “benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham also expressed opposition to Trump’s decision to pull back U.S. troops from northern Syria, warning such a move would be a “nightmare for Israel.”

Trump tweeted: “So many people conveniently forget that Turkey is a big trading partner of the United States, in fact they make the structural steel frame for our F-35 Fighter Jet. They have also been good to deal with, helping me to save many lives at Idlib Province, and returning, in very good health, at my request, Pastor Brunson, who had many years of a long prison term remaining. Also remember, and importantly, that Turkey is an important member in good standing of NATO. He is coming to the U.S. as my guest on November 13th. #ENDENDLESSWARS,” tweeted Trump.

Trump wrote in a second tweet, “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. Likewise our relationship with Turkey, a NATO and Trading partner, has been very good. Turkey already has a large Kurdish population and fully understands that while we only had 50 soldiers remaining in that section of Syria, and they have been removed, any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency. We are helping the Kurds financially/weapons!”

Trump also made it clear that the U.S. would not allow Turkey to do anything inhumane in Syria.

“If they do anything outside what we think inhumane…they could suffer the wrath of an extremely decimated economy,” Trump said. “We’re going to be watching Turkey. I told President Erdogan that it’s going to be your responsibility. If any of our people get hurt, big trouble.”

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