Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan put a letter into the dustbin which was sent by his US counterpart Donald Trump that said not to “be a tough guy” or a ‘fool” and warned him that he will be viewed as a “devil” if he sends his forces into Syria, according to reports on Thursday.
Earlier in the month, Trump sent a letter to his Turkish counterpart after US troops were pulled out of Syria and called him “Don’t be a tough guy.”Don’t be a fool”.
“Let’s work out a good deal! 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.
“History will look upon you favourably if you get this done the right and humane way. It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don’t happen,” Trump wrote in the letter.
However, the same day the letter was received, Turkey launched a cross-border offensive against Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria.
The US has been criticised for withdrawing its troops from the area, a step seen as a cue for the Turkish military to cross the border.
Earlier this week, President Trump had announced that he will authorise sanctions against Turkish officials, raise steel tariffs and end negotiations on a USD 100 billion trade deal.
Last week, Turkey launched a cross-border assault on Kurdish fighters after the US decided to withdraw troops from Syria, a move that was criticised by the Republicans, with some terming it a “betrayal” of the Kurds.
On pulling back of US troops, Trump said that only a small contingent will remain at the Tanf Garrison in southern Syria to disrupt remnants of the ISIS.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump had promised to bring back US troops from Syria and Afghanistan.
More than 50 people, including civilians, have been killed last week as the Turkish offensive in Syria, which was launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan aimed at pushing the Kurdish forces away from its border.
(With inputs from IANS)