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Trump threatens Turkey with economic devastation if it attacks Syrian Kurd militia


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Trump threatens Turkey with economic devastation if it attacks Syrian Kurd militia

By Daren Butler

 

2019-01-14T064629Z_1_LYNXNPEF0D0BH_RTROPTP_4_MIDEAST-CRISIS-SYRIA-TURKEY.JPG

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump talks to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium July 11, 2018. Tatyana Zenkovich/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

 

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - President Donald Trump threatened Turkey with economic devastation if it attacks a U.S.-allied Kurdish militia in Syria, weakening Turkey's currency and prompting sharp criticism from Ankara on Monday.

 

Relations between the two NATO allies have been strained over U.S. backing for the Kurdish YPG, which Turkey views as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that is waging a decades-long insurgency on Turkish soil.

 

A diplomatic crisis last year, when Trump imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers and raised tariffs on Turkish metal exports, helped push the Turkish lira to a record low in August.

 

Trump said on Sunday the United States was starting the military pullout from Syria that he announced in December, saying it was continuing to hit Islamic State fighters there.

 

"Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe zone...Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey," Trump wrote on Twitter.

 

The lira slid more than 1 percent to 5.52 against the dollar by 0620 GMT.

 

Turkey's presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Trump should respect Washington's alliance with Ankara.

 

"Mr @realDonaldTrump It is a fatal mistake to equate Syrian Kurds with the PKK, which is on the US terrorists list, and its Syria branch PYD/YPG," spokesman Ibrahim Kalin wrote on Twitter.

 

"Terrorists can't be your partners & allies. Turkey expects the US to honor our strategic partnership and doesn't want it to be shadowed by terrorist propaganda," he said on Monday.

 

Trump gave no details about the safe zone proposal. He announced last month he would withdraw U.S. forces from Syria, declaring they had succeeded in their mission to defeat the Islamic State group and were no longer needed.

 

However, U.S. officials have given mixed messages since then. The U.S.-led coalition said on Friday it had started the pullout but officials said later it involved only equipment, not troops.

 

The Kurdish YPG has been a U.S. ally in the fight against the jihadists and it controls swaths of northern Syria. Erdogan has vowed to crush it in the wake of Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops out of the region.

 

An official from the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, a coalition of militias led by the YPG, said on Sunday Islamic State militants were "living their final moments" in the last enclave they hold near the Iraqi border.

 

(Reporting by Daren Butler; Editing by Paul Tait)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-01-14
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1 hour ago, zydeco said:

Turks need to be brought to heel. Start by ejecting them from Cyprus.

The Turks didn't start the problems in Cyprus. That began with the call for Enosis or union with Greece,  It's a complicated tale but the military dictatorship in Greece staged a coup to overthrow the elected Cypriot government and put in its place puppets of the Greek regime in order to pursue enosis. That coup triggered the Turkish invasion. The Turks definitely took advantage and more than a fair share of the island for its Turkish citizens. But it was the nationalist lunacy of the Greeks that brought it on.

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38 minutes ago, animalmagic said:

Perhaps the blonde buffoon is preparing to take a similar approach to Saudi Arabia after the MBS directed murder of the journalist?

Or perhaps he's just forgotten!

Are you equating the death of one man with the potential deaths of hundreds, perhaps thousands of US allies? Perhaps you are clutching at straws to denigrate Trump.

 

Whatever, I hope that if the Turks do attack the Kurds, The Donald destroys their economy. 

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17 hours ago, zydeco said:

Turks need to be brought to heel. Start by ejecting them from Cyprus.

Let Europe do that. It is none of our business as America has been told ad infinitum over the years. The Turks are a problem but it's not an American problem. If we can't afford 5 billion at home we have no discretionary funds to get further involved in the affairs of other countries.

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23 minutes ago, thaibeachlovers said:

Are you equating the death of one man with the potential deaths of hundreds, perhaps thousands of US allies? Perhaps you are clutching at straws to denigrate Trump.

 

Whatever, I hope that if the Turks do attack the Kurds, The Donald destroys their economy. 

How about equating the deaths of thousands of US allies with the deaths of tens of thousand or perhaps hundreds of thouands, possibily millions of Yemenis?

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6 minutes ago, bristolboy said:

How about equating the deaths of thousands of US allies with the deaths of tens of thousand or perhaps hundreds of thouands, possibily millions of Yemenis?

Off topic. Yemen is not in danger of being attacked by Turkey.

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3 minutes ago, thaibeachlovers said:

Off topic. Yemen is not in danger of being attacked by Turkey.

But it wasn't "off topic" when you responded to the post citing Saudi Arabia? Or is it only "off topic" when others do it?

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Just now, thaibeachlovers said:

Are you equating the death of one man with the potential deaths of hundreds, perhaps thousands of US allies? Perhaps you are clutching at straws to denigrate Trump.

 

Whatever, I hope that if the Turks do attack the Kurds, The Donald destroys their economy. 

I take your point but I do not support any Govt that murders individuals OR groups based on their dissent towards that Govt.  

It is not necessary to clutch at straws to denigrate the Blonde Buffoon; there are complete hay stacks available!

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2 hours ago, thaibeachlovers said:

Are you equating the death of one man with the potential deaths of hundreds, perhaps thousands of US allies? Perhaps you are clutching at straws to denigrate Trump.

 

Whatever, I hope that if the Turks do attack the Kurds, The Donald destroys their economy. 

 

Interesting point!

 

No disrespect to the brave Kurds and a certain group of them I understand are US allies, deserving of the respect that allies should get.

 

However, I think we need to add something important to your calculus.  The "one man," who I am assuming is Jamal Khashoggi (correct?), was a columnist for an American newspaper called the Washington Post, a man whose alma mater was an American university (Indiana State University), he had an O visa with the US govt., and three of his kids have dual citizenship with the Saudis and the USA. 

 

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/khashoggis-children-are-reportedly-barred-from-leaving-saudi-arabia-2018-10?r=UK&IR=T

 

To quote one news source:

 

"Khashoggi was living in the United States on an “O” visa, according to his employer the Washington Post. Also known as the “genius” visa, the O offers individuals of “extraordinary ability and achievement” temporary residence for up to three years. Three of Khashoggi’s children are US citizens, and he is believed to have been applying for a legal permanent residence in the US, also known as a green card."

 

https://qz.com/1428499/jamal-khashoggi-what-trump-owes-khashoggi-under-us-law-and-constitution/

 

Also, not only does this one man thus have strong ties with the USA, but it should be clear that there's a very serious freedom of press issue involved.  Yes, Khashoggi died in Turkey probably because of his reporting of Saudi Arabia.  Yet, I would hope that it is incumbent upon the US govt. to stand up to any serious violation of the freedom of the press and harm done to any reporter of an American newspaper. 

 

 

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20 hours ago, webfact said:

Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe zone...

A 20 mile safe zone?... seems like donal is acting unilaterally... again.

 

whilst agreeing that US allies are at risk, once abandoned... any zoning (and policing of zoning) should be a motion brought before the UN, not brought before the world in a donal tweet.

 

donal is trying to fix a screw up, with another screw up.... double down Donal, will be how he’s remembered

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