President Donald Trump warned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "don't be a tough guy" in a letter to his counterpart before Ankara launched a deadly incursion in northern Syria, USA Today reported.
'Don't be a tough guy:' Donald Trump pens letter to Erdogan after Syria phone call
STEPANAKERT, OCTOBER 17, ARTSAKHPRESS: The October 9 letter, confirmed by a senior administration official, struck an unusually casual tone for correspondence between two foreign leaders discussing Turkey's plans to invade the restive region. It came three days after Erdogan spoke to Trump about his plans to mount an offensive against Kurdish forces, many of whom fought alongside U.S. troops against the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group in northern Syria.
Following the Oct. 6 phone call, the president announced his intention to withdraw troops from Syria, clearing the way for Turkey to invade Syria and drawing a rare bipartisan condemnation on Capitol Hill.
"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," Trump wrote.
Trump urged Erdogan to carry out his offensive in a humanitarian way but declined to delineate what exactly that entailed.
"Don't let the world down," he said, adding he had assurances from Gen. Mazloum Kobani, commander of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), about making concessions ahead of Turkey's planned assault.