“Don’t be a fool,” Donald Trump warned his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an extraordinary letter sent the day Turkey launched its incursion into northeastern Syria - warning history risked branding him a “devil.”
Three days after appearing to greenlight an invasion by pulling US troops from the Kurdish-dominated region, Trump told the Turkish president he would wreck Ankara’s economy if the invasion went too far.
In language shorn of diplomatic niceties, Trump began with an outright threat.
“Let’s work out a good deal,” Trump wrote in the letter dated October 9, whose authenticity was confirmed to AFP by the White House.
“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.”
A letter from U.S. President Trump to President Erdogan is seen after being released by the White House in Washington. (Reuters)