President Trump said on Monday he would "obliterate" Turkey's economy, if necessary, after his decision to withdraw troops from Syria, precipitating a military move by Turkey.
"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 wrote on Twitter.
"They must, with Europe and others, watch over the captured ISIS fighters and families. The U.S. has done far more than anyone could have ever expected, including the capture of 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. It is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory. THE USA IS GREAT!" the president continued.
The White House announced late Sunday that Turkey will soon move forward with a planned military operation in northeast Syria, as U.S. troops who have been deployed and operating with Kurdish-led forces in the area began pulling back from their positions.
The decision sent shockwaves through the region and Washington, with U.S. officials telling Fox News that top Pentagon officials were “completely blindsided” and “shocked” by the order to pull back hundreds of U.S. troops, a move that effectively greenlights the Turkey operation. Trump spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by telephone.
Some officials see the move as a betrayal of the Kurds, whom the U.S. supported against ISIS for years.
Speaking on "Fox & Friends" Monday morning, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham called it an "impulsive decision" by Trump that would undo U.S. gains in the region and give ISIS fighters a "second lease on life."