Trump announces harsh sanctions on Turkey, says Assad can protect Kurds, we should protect our own border

Screengrab MSNBC

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday to say that the Assad regime can protect the Kurds, asking “why should we be fighting for Syria?”

The president also announced he was authorizing crippling economic sanctions against Turkey for its “destabilizing actions in northeast Syria.”

Turkey launched an assault last week to drive the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces from the region and President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has agreed to send his army to the northern border to try to halt Turkey’s military efforts, according to the BCC.

In a pair of tweets, Trump said:

“After defeating 100% of the ISIS Caliphate, I largely moved our troops out of Syria. Let Syria and Assad protect the Kurds and fight Turkey for their own land. I said to my Generals, why should we be fighting for Syria and Assad to protect the land of our enemy? Anyone who wants to assist Syria in protecting the Kurds is good with me, whether it is Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte. I hope they all do great, we are 7,000 miles away!”

There has been widespread criticism of Trump’s decision to pull out of Syria, led by the anti-Trump media eager to denigrate the president; but this is consistent with his stance all along. He promised on the campaign trail he would get America out of the endless wars in the Middle East, a region beset with tribal conflicts going back centuries.

In what has been referred to as the “Trumpian view of the wider world,” the president rejects the belief that the U.S. should be “the world’s policeman,” choosing instead to be our own gatekeeper unless events directly impact American security.

In the year 2019, with America beset with many problems at home, it makes sense and more importantly, it’s no secret that Trump feels this way — despite the media feigning outrage.

Reporting from a worst-case mentality, the media would rather serve up sensational news, informing the public that Turkey is “holding around 50 U.S. nuclear weapons hostage” at the Incirlik Air Base — the nukes are under American control on the base and the New York Times reported Monday that the U.S. is reviewing plans to remove them.

In effect, if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to take possession of the nuclear weapons, he will have to declare war on the United States.

Instead of protecting Syria’s border with Turkey, Trump said in another pair of tweets that he’d rather focus on our Southern Border, offering yet another reminder that the Syrian conflict is 7,000 miles away.

He tweeted: “Some people want the United States to protect the 7,000 mile away Border of Syria, presided over by Bashar al-Assad, our enemy. At the same time, Syria and whoever they chose to help, wants naturally to protect the Kurds. I would much rather focus on our Southern Border which abuts and is part of the United States of America. And by the way, numbers are way down and the WALL is being built!”

At the same time, the president will use the full might of the U.S. economic power to curtail Turkey’s military efforts.

In an executive order issued Monday, Trump said Turkey’s offensive “undermines the campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, endangers civilians, and further threatens to undermine the peace, security, and stability in the region …”

The sanctions he imposed will include a 50% tariff on Turkish steel and halts a $100 billion trade deal between the two countries, according to a statement released. The president also said a “small footprint” of U.S. forces will remain in southern Syria “to continue disrupting remnants of ISIS.”

“I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path,” the president said.

In addition, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters Monday he’s being dispatched to the Middle East by President Trump to negotiate a settlement to end hostilities, Fox News reported.

Pence also said Trump spoke directly with Erdogan and demanded an immediate end to Turkey’s offensive against the Kurds in Syria.

“The United States of America simply is not going to tolerate Turkey’s invasion in Syria any further. We are calling on Turkey to stand down, end the violence and come to the negotiating table,” the vice president told reporters outside the White House.

Adding to the pressure, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced that he will travel to NATO headquarters in Brussels next week in an effort to get European allies to impose “diplomatic and economic measures” against Turkey — a fellow NATO ally.


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