Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan put US President Donald Trump’s controversial letter on the Syria offensive “in the bin”, according to the BBC.
“Don’t be a fool,” Donald Trump warned his counterpart in an extraordinary letter sent the day Turkey launched its incursion into northeastern Syria – warning history risked branding him a “devil”.
Sources from the Turkish presidency told BBC Turkish that the letter was “thoroughly rejected” by President Erdogan.
Three days after appearing to greenlight an invasion by pulling US troops from the Kurdish-dominated region, Trump told the Turkish president in the letter 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.”
“History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way,” Trump said. “It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don’t happen.”
The US leader told Erdogan a “great deal” was possible if he negotiated with the head of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, Mazloum Abdi, whom Turkey has labelled a “terrorist” for his ties to the Kurdish PKK militants in Turkey.
“Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool,” he finished, adding: “I will call you later.”
In response the BBC quoted Turkish presidential sources as having said: “President Erdogan received the letter, thoroughly rejected it and put it in the bin.”
Trump has dispatched his deputy Mike Pence to Turkey to demand a ceasefire in Syria but Ankara continues to rebuff international pressure to curb its deadly offensive against Kurdish forces.
President Erdogan vowed on Wednesday that Turkey’s operation – which has been facilitated by the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria – would continue.
This article has been adapted from its original source.