WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Monday threatened to “totally destroy and obliterate” the Turkish economy if Turkey took any action he considered “off-limits” following his decision to withdraw American forces from northeastern Syria.
The withdrawal, announced by the White House late on Sunday, was swiftly condemned by a bipartisan group of lawmakers over concerns that it could open the way for a Turkish strike on Kurdish-led forces long allied with Washington.
“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!)” Trump tweeted.
The United States expects Turkey to take responsibility of captive fighters of the militant Islamic State group, a senior State Department official said on Monday, if Ankara’s planned incursion into northeast Syria seizes areas where the detained militants are held.
The official said as of now, US allied Kurdish militia was still going to be in control of the detention facilities.
“If they (Turks) come into an area with obvious prisons and the SDF withdraws from those security positions around those prisons, we expect the Turks to take them over,” he said in a briefing.
Published in Dawn, October 8th, 2019