Trump warned Erdogan in letter: 'Don't be a tough guy' or 'a fool'

By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump warned Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in a letter about Turkey's incursion into Syria, 'Don't be a tough guy' and 'Don't be a fool!' The Oct

Reuters October 17, 2019 05:10:47 IST
Trump warned Erdogan in letter: 'Don't be a tough guy' or 'a fool'

Trump warned Erdogan in letter Dont be a tough guy or a fool

By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump warned Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in a letter about Turkey's incursion into Syria, "Don't be a tough guy" and "Don't be a fool!"

The Oct. 9 letter was released by the White House on Wednesday as Trump battled to control the political damage following his decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria, clearing the way for the Turkish incursion against America's Kurdish allies.

The letter tried to persuade Erdogan to reverse a decision to invade Syria that Erdogan told Trump about in an Oct 6 phone call.

"Let's work out a good deal!" Trump said. "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."

Trump had the letter released to bolster his view that he did not give Turkey a green light to invade Syria. Many lawmakers have been sharply critical of his decision to remove American forces from the conflict zone.

"I have worked hard to solve some of your problems. Don't let the world down. You can make a great deal," said Trump in the letter.

The president wrote that the commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, General Mazloum Kobani Abdi, was willing to negotiate and to make some concessions.

He said he had confidentially enclosed to Erdogan a copy of a letter Mazloum had sent him.

"History will look upon you favorably 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. Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool!" said Trump.

He added: "I will call you later."

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Sandra Maler and Cynthia Osterman)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.