US President Donald Trump on Monday once again warned Turkey against carrying out inhumane acts in Syria, as Ankara prepared to launch an attack on Syrian territory.
"If they do anything outside what we think inhumane...they could suffer the wrath of an extremely decimated economy," Trump told reporters during the signing of a trade agreement with Japan.
"We're going to be watching Turkey," he added. "I told President Erdogan that it's going to be your responsibility. If any of our people get hurt, big trouble.”
At the same time, Trump noted that "we want to bring out troops back home” and pointed out that "I got elected on that" while adding he does not want US forces to be in a “compromising” position.
Asked about opposition within the Republican party to his Syria plans, Trump replied, “They have their opinion” and added that he has also received support for the decision.
“People are extremely thrilled...the UK was very thrilled about this decision,” he asserted.
“The two countries that most disappointed that we’re leaving are China and Russia.” Trump said, adding those countries enjoyed seeing the US military “bogged down” in Syria.
“If you go by the other side...we should never ever come home. There has to be an end game,” he said.
The White House announced late Sunday night that the US will pull back its forces from parts of northern Syria, opening the door for a major operation by the Turkish military in Syrian territory.
According to a statement by White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, President Trump spoke with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, over the phone Sunday to discuss Turkey’s impending invasion of northern Syria.
Trump’s comments on Monday echo a tweet he posted earlier in the day, in which he warned that he would "obliterate" the Turkish economy if Ankara took action he considers to be "off limits" in its military action in Syria.
"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 Monday.
"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!"