Washington: US President Donald Trump on Monday threatened NATO ally Turkey with totally obliterating its economy if it went "off limits" on Syria, hours after the White House announced the withdrawal of the US troops from Syria's northern border.
The US' move effectively abandons the Kurds, who were America's main ally in the fight against the ISIS. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that the long-threatened offensive against separatists Kurdish militia could come any time.
"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 on Monday.
"They must, with Europe and others, watch over the captured ISIS fighters and families," he said after the White House announced that Turkish forces will soon be launching military operations in Northern Syria and American troops would withdraw from the region.
Trump's move to pull out US troops from Syria's northern border has been slammed by even his traditional national security and foreign policy supporters like Indian-American Nikki Haley.
Trump defended his decision saying that the United States has done its part and now it is the time for other regional players to play their part. "The US has done far more than anyone could have ever expected, including the capture of 100% of the ISIS Caliphate.
It is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory. THE USA IS GREAT!" Trump said in another tweet. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Lindsay Graham announced to introduce a bipartisan sanction against Turkey if they invade Syria.
By Lalit K Jha