By Matthew Lee
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that President Donald Trump‘s threat to devastate NATO ally Turkey‘s economy if it attacks US-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria underscores America’s commitment to its partners.
Pompeo said he had yet to speak with Turkish officials or Trump about the president’s tweeted threat and that he assumed Trump was referring to the imposition of sanctions should Turkey take military action against the Kurds in Syria, US allies in the fight against the Islamic State group.
On Sunday, Trump tweeted that the US will “attack again from existing nearby base if it (IS) reforms. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds.”
Trump’s decision to leave Syria, which he initially said would be rapid but later slowed down, shocked US allies and angered the Syrian Kurds.
Pompeo said the US message on the Kurds has been straightforward and unchanged since Trump made the decision to withdraw US troops from Syria last month.