The President of the United States, Donald Trump, warned Turkey on Monday not to go too far in Syria, one day after giving the green light to Ankara to invade its southern neighbor, which caused panic among the Washington Kurdish allies.
The Pentagon has withdrawn about two dozen of its forces from the northern border of Syria, where they serve as a buffer between the Turkish army and the Syrian Kurdish-led democratic forces, after Trump’s surprise announcement Sunday night that the American forces “will no longer be in the Immediate area.”
“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.
U.S. officials surprised by Trump’s Sunday announcement stressed that Washington will not actively support the long-threatened Turkish action, warning of destabilizing blowback to the region.
“The Department of Defense made clear to Turkey as did the president that we do not endorse a Turkish operation in Northern Syria,” said Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman.