Trump threatens sanctions if Turkey attacks Kurds
by Harvest Prude
Posted 1/14/19, 12:05 pm
WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump warned Turkey on Sunday against attacking Kurdish fighters in northern Syria following the withdrawal of U.S. troops. In a series of tweets, the president said the U.S. military was starting to pull out of Syria but would hit remaining Islamic State (ISIS) territory “hard, and from many directions.” He said the United States “will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds” and warned Kurdish forces not to “provoke Turkey.”
The United States has allied with the Kurds forces to fight ISIS since 2015. Turkey regards some Kurdish groups as terrorists and has threatened to attack them despite U.S. warnings. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the country would not be “deterred by any threat” and that the United States would “get nowhere by threatening Turkey economically.”
In August, Trump imposed sanctions on Turkey for detaining U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson, causing a sharp drop in the value of the country’s currency. After initial resistance, Turkey released Brunson in October.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.