Trump threatens to ‘totally destroy and obliterate’ Turkey’s economy over Syria

Daniel Fowler
October 9, 2019

They also said that critics of Turkey's purchase of Russia's S-400 air defense missile system which led to "rupturing the U.S. -Turkey relationship" is an oversimplification.

However, the state TV didn't mention the expected Turkish operation nor elaborate on the number of troops taking part in the drill in Qushchi in Iran's Western Azerbaijan province. The area is about 620 kilometers, or 385 miles, northwest of Tehran. Howitzers were positioned behind earth embankments on the Turkish side of the border, pointed towards Syria. "As a result we have moved the U.S. forces in northern Syria out of the path of potential Turkish incursion to ensure their safety", U.S. Defense Department spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is accusing the United States of playing "very risky games" with the Syrian Kurds, whose fighters were top US allies in the war against the Islamic State group in Syria.

Signalling a further potential shift in the region's power balance, the Kurdish-led forces said they might start talks with the Syrian government and Russian Federation to fill a security vacuum in the event of a full U.S. withdrawal.

He says that "such reckless attitude to this highly sensitive subject can set fire to the entire region, and we have to avoid it at any cost".

Russia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's strongest foreign ally, said it was not told in advance by the United States or Turkey about any agreements they had about plans to pull American troops from the north-east, adding that it was watching the situation very closely.

Trump's decision to withdraw troops from northeast Syria has rattled allies, including France, one of Washington's main partners in the US -led coalition fighting Islamic State.

In its call for mobilization, the local Kurdish authority known as the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria also urged the worldwide community to live up to its responsibilities as "a humanitarian catastrophe might befall our people" in the region.

Turkey refers to the stretch of territory run by the US -allied Syrian Kurdish fighters as a "terror corridor" and calls it an existential threat.

President Donald Trump on Sunday abruptly announced American troops would step aside ahead of eth Turkish push - a shift in USA policy that essentially abandoned the Syrian Kurds, longtime US allies in the fight against the Islamic State group.

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Expectations for that assault rose after U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday abruptly announced that U.S. troops would step aside ahead of the Turkish push - a shift in U.S. policy that essentially abandoned the Syrian Kurds, longtime U.S. allies in the fight against ISIS in Syria.

In a Washington Post op-ed Wednesday, Turkish communications director Fahrettin Altun called on the worldwide community to "rally" behind Ankara, calling the Kurds "armed thugs" from which the local population needed to be liberated.

The Kurdish-led SDF, which is holding thousands of ISIS fighters in several detention facilities in northeastern Syria, has warned that a Turkish incursion might lead to the resurgence of the extremists.

"The Turkish military, together with the Free Syrian Army, will cross the Turkish-Syrian border shortly", said Fahrettin Altun, a presidential aide.

Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish fighters, allied with American forces in the fight against IS, as terrorists linked to outlawed Kurdish rebels within Turkey.

Trump made an abrupt decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the border between Turkey and Syria, a move that clears the way for Turkey to launch a long-threatened assault on Kurds who it views as terrorists but whom USA military planners and other western nations view as partners in fighting the Islamic State.

Meanwhile, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said Turkish forces were attacking near the border.

The motion came ahead of Turkey's planned safe zone operation in northern Syria.

Last year Turkey launched an attack on the Syrian Kurdish enclave of Afrin, leading to the displacement of some 300,000 people. There was no immediate word on casualties.

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