Trump threatens to 'devastate' Turkey's economy if they attack 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

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

Trump also threatened to "devastate Turkey economically" if the country hit the Kurds living in Syria.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Saturday he is "optimistic" the Syrian Kurds will not be abandoned and confident the US and Turkey can work out a deal to assure the Kurds will be safe.

While Turkey aims to pursue the Kurdish forces allied with the U.S., the Russia- and Iran-backed Syrian government sees a chance to recover extensive territory.

"The withdrawal is based on operational conditions on the ground, including conversation with our allies and partners, and is not be subject to an arbitrary timeline", he said. In a televised speech in December, he said Turkey's army would be ready "neutralize terrorist organizations" in upcoming months, according to the Financial Times. He proposed creating a 20-mile safe zone to protect the Kurds. US President Donald Trump stated on Twitter that the United States have defeated the IS forces in Syria, which is the only reason for the US troops being there. "We will continue to fight against them all".

He called the Syria pullout "long overdue" but said the U.S. would still hit "the little remaining Isis territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions".

The Kurdish YPG has been a U.S. ally in the fight against the Islamic State group and it controls swaths of northern Syria.

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"We have operated with impressive success in thwarting Iran from establishing a military foothold in Syria, in the framework of which the military has struck hundreds of times against Iranian and Hezbollah targets", Netanyahu said.

Turkey says the YPG is tied to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has been fighting a long guerrilla war for more Kurdish autonomy inside Turkey.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed Sunday that Israel had struck hundreds of Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria over the weekend, including a weapons facility, as the Israeli Defense Forces announced the discovery of a sixth and final tunnel dug by the Lebanese militant group for cross-border attacks.

USA national security adviser John Bolton suggested on Tuesday that protecting Washington's Kurdish allies would be a precondition of the U.S. withdrawal.

Cavusoglu once again "rejected and condemned" Bolton's comments on the conditional withdrawal and said despite different voices coming out from Washington, the Turkish president's interlocutor was Trump.

Mr Pompeo said the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria was a "tactical change" but the mission to destroy Islamic State and counter Iran's influence remained the same.

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