A letter to the Turkish president from President Trump warns Erdogan of dire consequences should he step out of line after U.S. troops have been withdrawn from Syria.
The president has faced an onslaught of criticism after his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Northern Syria, preferring to let the Turkish government take care of local operations.
Shortly after his decision, announced on Oct. 12, President Trump sent a letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, warning him of dire consequences should he not heed the president’s warning. The president’s letter, obtained by Trish Regan from Fox Business, reveals he threatened Erdogan with the destruction of the Turkish economy with strong words.
The letter stated: “You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don’t want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy — and I will,” Trump wrote.
“History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way,” the president continued. “It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don’t happen. Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!”
EXCLUSIVE: I have obtained a copy of @realDonaldTrump’s letter to #Erdogan. @POTUS warns him to not “be a tough guy! Don’t be a fool!” Says he could destroy Turkey’s economy if #Syria is not resolved in a humane way. Details tonight at 8pm #TrishRegan #FoxBusiness pic.twitter.com/9BoSGlbRyt
— Trish Regan (@trish_regan) October 16, 2019
“If Turkey goes into Syria, it is between Turkey and Syria. It’s not our problem,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday in the Oval Office. “If Russia wants to get involved with Syria, that’s really up to them. They have a problem with Turkey. They have a problem at a border. It’s not our border. We shouldn’t be losing lives over it.”
After initially refusing to meet with a U.S. delegation headed by Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, the Turkish president has now agreed to the meeting.
Despite widespread bipartisan criticism from both parties for his decision to pull troops away from the border, the president has defended his actions.
“The United States has spent EIGHT TRILLION DOLLARS fighting and policing in the Middle East. Thousands of our Great Soldiers have died or been badly wounded. Millions of people have died on the other side. GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY,” the president tweeted.
The president’s plan to pull troops away from the fighting also includes keeping a small contingent in the region. “We are asking for a cease-fire,” he told reporters at the White House on Oct.16.
President Trump has authorized new sanctions against Turkey, “We put the strongest sanctions that you could imagine,” he said.