It appears that President Trump’s “decision to withdraw US troops from the border region between Turkey and Syria took the Pentagon by surprise,” according to Dennis Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.
Trump on Monday threatened to “obliterate” Turkey’s economy if Ankara does anything that he considers to be “off limits” in Syria, after announcing his decision to pull out US troops from Turkish-Syrian border areas, allowing Turkey to invade northern Syria and potentially wipe out Kurdish fighters.
Trump’s latest tweets appeared to be in response to a storm of criticism from his own Republican Party and Democratic rivals that he was betraying the long-time Kurdish allies.
In an interview with Press TV on Monday, Etler, a former professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, said, “Trump’s tweet diplomacy has gone over the top with his recent pronouncement that, ‘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!).’”
“It appears that Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from the border region between Turkey and Syria took the Pentagon by surprise and was done without consulting them, other members of his administration or his Republican congressional allies,” he added.
“Trump’s unilateral actions have alienated both friend and foe alike. His unhinged tweets suggest that his term in office will soon be coming to an end,” he noted.
The political turmoil first erupted on Sunday night when the White House announced that it was pulling out US troops from the Syria-Turkey border area and that “Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria.”
The White House announced Turkey’s planned invasion of northern Syria that seemed to indicate at least tacit American support.
The decision came after a phone conversation between Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the White House statement said.
The White House said US troops would withdraw from the border between Turkey and Syria and wouldn’t be involved in the offensive.
Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham blasted the Trump administration for its decision to allow Turkey to invade northern Syria.
The senator from North Carolina criticized the maneuver as “a disaster in the making” in a rare public break with the Republican president.
Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley also slammed Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from Syria.
“We must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back,” Haley tweeted.
The US has long been providing the militants of the so-called People’s Protection Units (YPG) with arms, calling them a key partner in the purported fight against Daesh. Many observers, however, see the support as part Washington’s plans to carve out a foothold in the Arab country.
That support has also angered Washington’s NATO ally Turkey, which views the YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The PKK has been waging a war inside Turkey for decades.
Turkey said it was ready to carry out an air and ground operation to push back YPG militants from border areas after a deadline to jointly establish a so-called safe zone with the US passed.