News

White House

Trump Asks Turkish President Not to ‘Mistreat’ Kurdish Forces

President Donald Trump talks to Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2018. (Tatyana Zenkovich/REUTERS)

President Trump urged the president of Turkey in a phone call Monday not to “mistreat” Kurdish forces who have fought alongside U.S. troops against the Islamic State.

“The President expressed the desire to work together to address Turkey’s security concerns in northeast Syria while stressing the importance to the United States that Turkey does not mistreat the Kurds and other Syrian Democratic Forces with whom we have fought to defeat ISIS,” read a statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

As the U.S. begins carrying out Trump’s order to withdraw the approximately 2,000 U.S. troops currently stationed in Syria, fears have mounted that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan would take the opportunity to attack the Kurds, whom Turkey sees as a security threat. The move also leaves the Kurds open to attack from Syrian government troops backed by Iran and Russia.

The sudden withdrawal was controversial within the administration and caused the departure of Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who in his resignation letter to Trump wrote, “You have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours.”

Trump said on Sunday that the pullout is “long overdue” and threatened to “devastate Turkey economically” if they attack the Kurds, adding, “likewise, [I] do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey.”

“Russia, Iran and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term U.S. policy of destroying ISIS in Syria – natural enemies,” the president wrote on Twitter. “We also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home.”

For its part, Turkey dismissed Trump’s threat, saying it “will not fear or be deterred by any threat.”

“You cannot get anywhere by threatening Turkey economically,” Turkish foreign minister Nevlut Cavusoglu said.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Most Popular

Why Trump’s Losing

President Trump pulled an inside straight to win in 2016, and now he needs another one. The good news for Trump is that his approval rating has stopped falling recently. The bad news is that it has stabilized in the low 40s. Election-watcher Harry Enten points out that no president since Harry Truman has won ... Read More

Why Trump’s Losing

President Trump pulled an inside straight to win in 2016, and now he needs another one. The good news for Trump is that his approval rating has stopped falling recently. The bad news is that it has stabilized in the low 40s. Election-watcher Harry Enten points out that no president since Harry Truman has won ... Read More
U.S.

A Stay-at-Home Mom on Her Reasons for Leaving Portland

While covering events (see here and here) in Portland, Ore., National Review writer Luther Abel sat down with Joanna -- a college-educated, stay-at-home mom and now Trump voter -- who feels it is no longer safe or healthy to live there. They discussed the change that has happened in the city politically, the ... Read More
U.S.

A Stay-at-Home Mom on Her Reasons for Leaving Portland

While covering events (see here and here) in Portland, Ore., National Review writer Luther Abel sat down with Joanna -- a college-educated, stay-at-home mom and now Trump voter -- who feels it is no longer safe or healthy to live there. They discussed the change that has happened in the city politically, the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

What Next?

Imagine this: You have a friend who has never saved a penny for his retirement. You ask him about it when he is in his twenties, and he says, “No problem — I’m going to win the lottery.” Years go by. You ask him about it in his thirties, in his forties, in his fifties, etc., and get the same answer. At ... Read More
Politics & Policy

What Next?

Imagine this: You have a friend who has never saved a penny for his retirement. You ask him about it when he is in his twenties, and he says, “No problem — I’m going to win the lottery.” Years go by. You ask him about it in his thirties, in his forties, in his fifties, etc., and get the same answer. At ... Read More
Law & the Courts

New York’s Lawless NRA Lawsuit

The latest bananas news from the banana republic that is the State of New York: The attorney general, a political enemy of the National Rifle Association, is seeking to have the advocacy organization legally dissolved. The pretext is financial corruption and self-dealing on the part of the NRA’s ... Read More
Law & the Courts

New York’s Lawless NRA Lawsuit

The latest bananas news from the banana republic that is the State of New York: The attorney general, a political enemy of the National Rifle Association, is seeking to have the advocacy organization legally dissolved. The pretext is financial corruption and self-dealing on the part of the NRA’s ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Government Misconduct Frees Cliven Bundy

Politically charged prosecutions — even ones that are thoroughly justified — often end badly for the justice system. So it appears with the federal prosecutions of Cliven Bundy and his sons. The government blew its case against Bundy's sons by overcharging them, resulting in a jury acquittal in 2016. Today, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Government Misconduct Frees Cliven Bundy

Politically charged prosecutions — even ones that are thoroughly justified — often end badly for the justice system. So it appears with the federal prosecutions of Cliven Bundy and his sons. The government blew its case against Bundy's sons by overcharging them, resulting in a jury acquittal in 2016. Today, ... Read More