Donald Trump threatens Turkey with economic devastation if it attacks Syrian Kurds

Donald Trump threatens Turkey with economic devastation if it attacks Syrian Kurds

Donald Trump threatens Turkey with economic devastation if it attacks Syrian Kurds

On Friday, the US-led coalition said it had started the pullout, but officials later said only equipment, not troops, were going.

But Mr Trump attempted to reassure both Syrian Kurds and observers anxious about a potential ISIS resurgence, saying USA troops would remain across the border in Iraq to enforce a 20 mile safe zone.

Islamic State militants are "living their final moments" in the last enclave they hold in Syria, near the Iraqi border, where the US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces have stepped up their attacks in the last two days, an SDF official told Reuters on Sunday.

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, which has said it is planning an assault on Islamic State and Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria, contends that the Kurdish fighters in Syria are part of a front for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, a Kurdish insurgency in Turkey.

Pompeo's remarks follow tensions between the U.S. and Turkey over the fate of Washington's allies in the fight against ISIS.

"We stand to lose our way of life, we also stand to lose our property and our livelihood", said Ishak. Erdogan called his comments "a serious mistake".

The delay has restricted Turkey's ability to launch an offensive against the YPG, a group of Kurdish fighters it considers terrorists, but who served as allies to the US coalition to defeat Islamic State.

Since then, U.S. officials have given mixed messages.

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

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

In a speech in Cairo on Thursday, Pompeo vowed that the United States would "expel every last Iranian boot" from Syria, where Tehran is supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Mr Pompeo said yesterday that the speech had not taken aim at individuals but rather the ideas of the previous administration, adding that the Obama-era policies opened the way for Islamic State and the spread of Iran's influence in the region.

CNN reported on Thursday that the first U.S. military ground equipment has been withdrawn from Syria, according to an administration official with direct knowledge of the operation.

The president's announcement also accelerated the resignation of Brett McGurk, the special envoy to the coalition fighting ISIS.

Pompeo also spoke about the partial government shutdown, which has become the nation's longest.

Senior US officials were shocked too, among them Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who quit in protest.

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