Trump warns Turkey of economic devastation when it hits Kurds
US President Donald Trump warns Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan of economic devastation if Ankara attacks the Kurdish forces after American troops withdraw from Syria
President Donald Trump warned Turkey of economic devastation on Sunday as it attacks the Kurdish forces in the wake of the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, while calling on the Kurds not to "provoke" Ankara.
Trump took Twitter with him to reveal some of his latest thoughts in the slow drop of infusion of information released by his government after his shocking December announcement of the withdrawal of the troops.
His top diplomat Mike Pompeo is focused on reassuring regional allies in the midst of the growing tensions between the US and Turkey about the fate of the Syrian Kurdish allies in Washington in the fight against the Islamic State Group.
Pompeo also wanted to reassure the Kurdish allies in Washington in the fight against IS, who fear that the departure of American troops would allow Turkey to attack them.
Turkey reacted angrily to suggestions that Trump's plan to withdraw troops depended on the security of US-backed Kurdish fighters, seen by the Turkish government as terrorists.
"Turkey will destroy economically if they hit Kurds," tweeted Trump as he insisted on creating a safe zone of 30 kilometers (30 kilometers).
"Likewise, does not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey."
Trump has not described in detail who would create, enforce or pay for the safe zone, or where it would be located.
US-led operations against IS in Syria were used as a spearhead by the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Ankara sees the backbone of that alliance, the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), as a terrorist group associated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has conducted a decades-long revolt against the Turkish state.
On Saturday, more than 600 people were evacuated from the remaining IS holdout in eastern Syria, a monitor said, while US-backed hunters were preparing for a final attack on the area.
"Starting the long-term exit from Syria while hitting the small remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard and from many directions will again attack from existing nearby base if it reforms," Trump said.
"Russia, Iran and Syria have been the main beneficiaries of the long-term American policy of destroying ISIS in Syria – natural enemies. We also benefit, but it is now time to bring our troops back home." Stop the ENDLESS WARS! "
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, head of Rami Abdel Rahman, based in the UK, said that a few dozen jihadist fighters had been evacuated among them to areas held by the Kurdish-Arab alliance.
Abdel Rahman said that some 16,000 people, including 760 IS-fighters, have fled the area since early December, although this was the first time that the SDF and the coalition provided buses, suggesting a deal has been negotiated between the warring parties .
– Citizens are still stuck –
The United Nations said Friday that in general about 25,000 people have fled the violence in the last six months, while the die-hard jihadists have fought to defend their dwindling bastions.
An estimated 2,000 civilians remain trapped in the area around the city of Hajin, the United Nations said.
The US-led coalition fired more than 20 missiles against jihadist positions on Saturday, according to the observatory.
The monitor said that about 300 SDF fighters had deployed at Sousa village in the preparations for a final attack.
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