U.S. to 'devastate Turkey economically' if it attacks Syrian Kurds

U.S. to 'devastate Turkey economically' if it attacks Syrian Kurds

U.S. to 'devastate Turkey economically' if it attacks Syrian Kurds

Pompeo also said the withdrawal of USA troops from Syria was a "tactical change" and does not alter U.S.' military capacity to counter Daesh and Iran.

"Terrorists can't be your partners & allies".

Turkey has said its military offensive against the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria hinges on its own decision, regardless of anyone's permission.

Relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have been strained over USA backing for the Kurdish YPG, which Turkey views as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) waging a decades-long insurgency on Turkish soil.

Donald Trump has threatened North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey with economic devastation if Ankara attacks the Kurds after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. Turkey views some Kurdish groups in the region as terrorist organizations and Kurds make up the majority of US-allied fighters operating in Syria in the civil war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Ibrahim Kalin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesperson has taken to Twitter to respond to a recent comment by the United States president, who warned Ankara of "economic devastation" should it target US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria.

Earlier this week, an administration official told CNN that the first United States military ground equipment has been withdrawn from the war-torn country.

Colonel Sean Ryan, the coalition spokesman, said: "The SDF is making great progress and continues to liberate more territory once held by ISIS (Islamic State), but the fight continues".

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed Sunday that Israel had struck hundreds of Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria over the weekend, including a weapons facility, as the Israeli Defense Forces announced the discovery of a sixth and final tunnel dug by the Lebanese militant group for cross-border attacks.

Kurdish officials have said they would like Russian mediation in any talks with the Syrian government.

Turkey, however, remains firmly committed to removing what they call a Kurdish "terrorist" threat coming from the Euphrates River valley, and is actively preparing for a possible cross-border operation.

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

Turkey considers the PKK a terrorist group and there are fears Turkey will attack Kurdish fighters inside Syria when the Americans leave.

Similarly to Pompeo, Republican U.S. Sen.

Trump's tweets marked the first public threat toward Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, over the Kurds and seemed to offer a blanket of protection for the group, a band of US-backed militias that the Turkish government sees as terrorists.

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