alexa Trump letter to Erdogan over Turkey-Syrian war: 'Don't be a fool' - Daily Nation

Trump letter to Erdogan over Turkey-Syrian war: 'Don't be a fool'

Thursday October 17 2019

Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump listens during a joint press conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella (not pictured) in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 16, 2019. Trump warned his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an extraordinary letter sent the day Turkey launched its incursion in Syria that he should not risk being branded a "devil." PHOTO | AFP 

AFP
By AFP
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Washington,

"Don't be a fool," Donald Trump warned his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an extraordinary letter sent the day Turkey launched its incursion into northeastern Syria -- warning history risked branding him a "devil."

Three days after appearing to greenlight an invasion by pulling US troops from the Kurdish-dominated region, Trump told the Turkish president he would wreck Ankara's economy if the invasion went too far.

In language shorn of diplomatic niceties, Trump began with an outright threat.

"Let's work out a good deal," Trump wrote in the letter dated October 9, whose authenticity was confirmed to AFP by the White House.

"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."

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"History will look upon you favourably if you get this done the right and humane way," Trump said. "It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don't happen."

The US leader told Erdogan a "great deal" was possible if he negotiated with the head of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, Mazloum Abdi, whom Turkey has labelled a "terrorist" for his ties to the Kurdish PKK militants in Turkey.

"Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool," he finished, adding: "I will call you later."