President Donald Trump is defending his decision to pull back US troops from northern Syria, clearing the way for an expected Turkish assault and essentially abandoning Kurdish fighters who fought alongside American forces to defeat ISIS.
The move drew immediate outrage from some of the Republican president's closest allies in Congress, with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham calling the decision "a disaster."
Syria's Kurds accuse the US of turning its back on its allies and risking gains made in the fight against ISIS.
Trump defended the move in a series of tweets, though, acknowledging that "The Kurds fought with us" but claiming they "were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so."
He is threatening to destroy the economy of Turkey if it does not watch over captured ISIS fighters and their families detained in Syria.
In a tweet today, Trump said: "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."
Trump defended his sudden decision to pull back US troops from northern Syria, clearing the way for an expected Turkish military invasion against Kurdish forces. They were backed by the US, but Turkey views them as terrorists and a threat to the country.
Democrats and Republicans warn that a Turkish attack could lead to a massacre of the Kurds, who are holding thousands of captured ISIS fighters and their families.
The Pentagon said it was still trying to talk Turkey out of invading northeastern Syria.
In a written statement today, Pentagon chief spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said the US does not endorse a Turkish military operation in Syria and will not support it.
Hoffman says Defense Secretary Mark Esper and the Joint Chiefs chairman, Gen. Mark Milley, told their Turkish counterparts that unilateral military action in the Kurdish area of Syria "creates risks" for Turkey.
Hoffman says the Pentagon will work with allies and coalition partner nations to reiterate to Turkey that its potential military operation in Syria would have "possible destabilising consequences" for Turkey and for the region.