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Turkey says it won’t bow to US threat over its Syria plans

US President Donald Trump on Monday threatened to “totally destroy and obliterate” the Turkish economy if the country does anything “off-limits” in northeastern Syria in the wake of his sudden decision to withdraw US troops from the area. The warning was part of Trump’s defense of the move, which was slammed as a “stab in the back” by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US ally that was instrumental in defeating Islamic State in Syria earlier this year. Analysts have warned that the move will enable Turkey to launch strikes on the SDF.

In response to Trump’s threat, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay on Tuesday stated that his country would fight Kurdish forces across its border in Syria and that the Turkish leaders “determine our own path but we set our own limits.” Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad urged Kurdish fighters in the country to join the government’s forces now that Washington had abandoned them.

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