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displaced civilians from Afrin in northwest Syria displaced civilians from Afrin in northwest Syria  (ANSA)

Turkey brush off Trump threats over Syria

American President Donald Trump has threatened to devastate the Turkish economy if it attacks Kurdish forces in Syria when US troops pullout.

By Nathan Morley

The Turkish Foreign Minister brushed off Donald Trump’s tweet, saying that threatening Turkey economically would not work. Turkish officials seemed irked that such important high-level issues were being discussed over Twitter or social media.

Washington has demanded that Kurds be protected after US soldiers depart; it’s a request which has been roundly rejected by Ankara.

The American military detachments in Syria are made up of mostly special operations forces and have been working closely with Kurdish groups like the People's Protection Units, or YPG, which are considered terrorist organizations by the Turks.

Just last week President Erdogan charged Washington of not appreciating the so-called dangers associated with the YPG and other Kurdish groups posed.

Ankara’s relationship with the Trump administration is frosty at best. Last year, the United States imposed trade tariffs, amid a spat over a detained American Pastor Andrew Brunson. The move saw the Turkish lira plummet.

Not long after, Brunson was released.

Just before Christmas, US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of US forces from Syria, saying that IS had been defeated.

The move drew widespread criticism, and now it appears the US administration is backtracking. John Bolton later added that the pullout depended on certain conditions.

Listen to the report by Nathan Morley

 

14 January 2019, 17:34