Trump warns Turkey against attacking Kurds

Trump warns Turkey against attacking Kurds

Trump unexpectedly announced last month that US forces would be leaving Syria, causing confusion and concern among USA allies.

President Trump warned Turkey last night that it faced economic ruin if it attacked Kurdish forces in Syria as he confirmed that the withdrawal of United States troops there had begun.

"We recognize the Turkish people's right and President Erdogan's to defend their country from terrorists", Pompeo said Saturday, according to NPR's Michele Kelemen, who is traveling with the secretary.

But, he added, "we also know that those fighting alongside of us for all this time deserve to be protected as well".

"We will confirm that there has been no redeployment of military personnel from Syria to date", said Navy Commander Sean Robertson, a Pentagon spokesman. The move came after Trump declared that the "Islamic State" terrorist group had been defeated in Syria.

Pompeo stressed those fighting alongside the US are not terrorists and deserve protection. "Turkey expects the USA to honor our strategic partnership and doesn't want it to be shadowed by terrorist propaganda", Kalın said in a tweet on Monday, adding that it is a "fatal mistake" to equate Syrian Kurds with PKK terrorists.

Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton had a tense meeting with Turkish officials in Ankara this week.

USA armed forces recently killed Jamal al-Badawi, who led a deadly terrorist attack on the USS Cole in the year 2000.

More than 2,000 US troops are serving in Syria.

More news: A's expect Murray to enter NFL Draft

Kalın's and Altun's comments on Twitter came shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump said Washington would "economically devastate" Turkey if Ankara chose to "hit" the PKK's Syrian offshoot People's Protection Units (YPG).

Kurds and Christians in the northeast region "have tried to put together this pluralistic model which is based on secularism", he told NPR.

The US-led coalition on Saturday fired more than 20 missiles against jihadist positions, the observatory said.

Kurdish groups fear the departure of American troops would allow Turkey to attack them. "The tactical change we've made in the withdrawal of those 2,000 troops is just that, a tactical change", he said.

What has Mike Pompeo said?

He described a "big and growing" coalition to exert pressure on Iran. "This is exactly what Turkey is doing in Syria", he wrote on Twitter.

Trump's decision to leave Syria, which he initially said would be rapid but later slowed down, shocked USA allies and angered the Kurds in Syria.

Turkey's presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Trump should respect Washington's alliance with Ankara. "Morale is good" among diplomats, he said.

Senior US officials were shocked too, among them Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who quit in protest. He is also expected to travel to Saudi Arabia.

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