Earlier this month, President Donald Trump announced an abrupt withdrawal of U.S. Special Forces from Northern Syria, abandoning Kurdish allies who were crucial in the containment of ISIS. The withdrawal left Kurds in the region vulnerable to an all-but-certain attack from neighboring Turkey—an attack which occurred immediately after the announcement of withdrawal.
President Donald Trump subsequently sent a bizarre letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatening to destroy the Turkish economy if Erdogan didn’t make a “good deal” with the United States and threatened that history would forever look upon him as “the devil” if “good things don’t happen.”
EXCLUSIVE: I have obtained a copy of @realDonaldTrump’s letter to #Erdogan. @POTUS warns him to not “be a tough guy! Don’t be a fool!” Says he could destroy Turkey’s economy if #Syria is not resolved in a humane way. Details tonight at 8pm #TrishRegan #FoxBusiness pic.twitter.com/9BoSGlbRyt
— Trish Regan (@trish_regan) October 16, 2019
It was later announced that Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State had reached a deal with Erdogan for a 120 hour ceasefire giving time for Kurds to evacuate their homeland. Trump soon took credit for negotiating a pause in a conflict he was instrumental in starting.
Though Erdogan initially dismissed the letter, he addressed it during a press conference regarding the ceasefire.
WATCH: Turkish Pres. Erdogan says Pres. Trump's letter to him "did not go hand-in-hand with political and diplomatic courtesy" and "it would not be right for us to forget it," adding that "we would like for it to be known that we will do what is necessary when the time comes." pic.twitter.com/L3d1MCLnoG
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 18, 2019
Erdogan said the letter “did not go hand in hand with political and diplomatic courtesy” expected from the United States.
“Of course we haven’t forgotten [the letter]. It would not be right for us to forget it…We would like for it to be known that we will do what is necessary when the time comes.”
Americans were concerned that Erdogan’s words amounted to a threat.
So now we’re being threatened by petulant dictators due to Trump’s idiocy?
So much winning.
— Jamie Hall (@JamieHallMusic) October 18, 2019
This sounds like Erdogan is threatening the US to me.
This president and the Republican party's enabling of this president, has put the whole world at risk
— Reality Hits! 🇨🇦 (@thesolo_HelenV) October 18, 2019
You gotta love how our Turkey can noe threaten the US. Make Autocrats Great Again.
— Patriautism (@patriautism) October 18, 2019
But it was Trump’s so-called leadership and his childish letter that they blamed.
Trump is his own embarrassment to civilization.
— Alison #RESIST tRump (@AnwayAlison) October 18, 2019
"wasn’t in line with diplomatic or political customs" sums up this administration pretty nicely doesn't it …
— Lorraine (@LRH821) October 18, 2019
Liddle Donnie wont get the Kurds to move as promised. All hell will break loose with the US sitting by with it’s hands tied. Turkey will blame Trump and release the phone call tapes to prove it….art of the con, just got worked by an allied nation!
— Mav’s Dad (@afuzzie) October 18, 2019
We always knew Trump’s stupidity would cause an international incident
— Christine Galea (@chrisgalea) October 18, 2019
TACTIC: How to press a diplomatic advantage.
When you are affronted in public, keep your opponent thinking they owe you.
This can be used to get a concession later.
Mr. "Art of the Deal", blows yet another deal.
— A. Healy (@AHealy14) October 18, 2019
Kurds in Syria are paying large sums of money for smugglers to help them get out of the region before the ceasefire ends and Turkish aggression resumes.
Erdogan is set to visit the White House next month, but many are calling on Trump to cancel it.