US President Donald Trump on Monday threatened to “totally destroy and obliterate” the Turkish economy if Turkey took any action he considered “off-limits” following his decision to withdraw American forces from northeastern Syria, according to Reuters.
The withdrawal, announced by the White House late Sunday, was swiftly condemned by a bipartisan group of lawmakers over concerns that it could open the way for a Turkish strike on Kurdish-led forces long allied with Washington.
“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!)” Trump tweeted.
Prominent lawmakers admonished the White House on Monday for its controversial decision to allow Turkey to invade northern Syria and potentially wipe out US-allied Kurdish fighters — with Republicans hawks and moderates joining Democrats to blast the move, Politico reported.
In a rare public break with President Donald Trump, Senator Lindsey Graham criticized the pullout, saying the “impulsive decision by the president has undone all the gains we’ve made [and] thrown the region into further chaos” on “Fox & Friends” on Monday, adding, “I hope I’m making myself clear how shortsighted and irresponsible this decision is in my view.”
Senator Marco Rubio, another hawkish lawmaker respected within the Republican Party for his foreign policy outlook, also condemned the White House’s action and cautioned that it would encourage Iran amid escalating tensions between the US and the Islamic Republic.
“If reports about US retreat in #Syria are accurate, the Trump administration has made a grave mistake that will have implications far beyond Syria,” the Florida Republican tweeted. “It would confirm #Iran’s view of this administration & embolden then to escalate hostile attacks which in turn could trigger much broader & more dangerous regional war.”
Nikki Haley, former US ambassador to the United Nations, issued a denunciation, as well, Politico said.
“We must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back,” she tweeted. “The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake. #TurkeyIsNotOurFriend.”