Trump Warns Turkey Against Hitting Syrian Kurds

Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan right speaks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a meeting at Al Shati Palace in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi on Saturday

Turkey's lira weakened against the dollar on Monday after US President Donald Trump warned the United States would devastate Turkey economically if Ankara attacks a Washington-backed Kurdish militia in Syria. He also said he did not want the Kurds to provoke Ankara.

Last month, Trump said he would withdraw some 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria in a statement that shocked several politicians in Washington as well as Western and Kurdish allies fighting alongside the US.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton said that Ankara's consent to protect the Kurdish militia was a condition for the US withdrawal, which has become a major stumbling block in relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

US-led operations against IS in Syria have been spearheaded on the ground by the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

"We will continue to fight against them all". Lindsey Graham and National Security Advisor John Bolton -only made it more hard for Trump to hold true to his December announcement.

"Seems like a long time ago but frankly it's the good work that United States did with a big coalition and we'll work with the Turks to make sure there is security for them as well and that the Kurdish people inside Syria are indeed protected".

"The market follows the ties with the USA and Syria process closely".

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It's a stark threat toward an ally in the region that has partnered with the U.S. in the fight against ISIS. "We have just killed the leader of that attack, Jamal al-Badawi", Trump said in a Twitter post.

The president announced the move in December, prompting concerns that Syrian Kurds, who had helped the U.S. fight Islamic State, would be left at the mercy of neighbouring Turkey, which views some of them as terrorists.

But neighboring Turkey fears the SDF's connections to the Kurdish secession movement, which has fought the Turkish state for decades.

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

US President Donald Trump on Sunday (local time) threatened to "devastate Turkey economically" if it attacked the Kurds in the region.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that equipment was being moved out of Syria, a sign that despite mixed messages from Washington preparations for a withdrawal of troops was proceeding apace.

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Trump announced last month he would withdraw US forces from Syria, declaring they had succeeded in their mission to defeat the Islamic State group and were no longer needed.

There are reportedly around 2,000 U.S. troops deployed in Syria.

"Although we made a clear agreement with U.S. President Trump, different voices are emerging from different parts of the administration", Erdogan said as Bolton prepared to leave town after meeting other Turkish officials.

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

Pompeo told reporters that he spoke with Turkey's foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, on Saturday.

The White House said on Monday that Mr Trump and Mr Erdogan "discussed several bilateral issues, including the ongoing cooperation in Syria".

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