Trump threatens to devastate Turkey's economy if it attacks Kurds

The US has an estimated 2000 troops in northern Syria

The US has an estimated 2000 troops in northern Syria

On Friday, the US-led coalition said it had started the pullout, but officials later said only equipment, not troops, were going.

Ibrahim Kalin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesperson has taken to Twitter to respond to a recent comment by the USA president, who warned Ankara of "economic devastation" should it target US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria.

Turkey had rejected any suggestions that U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to withdraw troops was conditional on the safety of the U.S. -backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). Turkey views some Kurdish groups in the region as terrorist organizations and Kurds make up the majority of US-allied fighters operating in Syria in the civil war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"There are many details to be worked out but I am optimistic we can achieve a good outcome", he said.

"The mission in Syria is not yet complete and we must continue to work with our partners and allies to ensure that ISIS is destroyed and never returns", Graham said using another acronym for the Daesh terrorists. Erdogan called his comments "a serious mistake". "We also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home".

The president announced the move in December, prompting concerns that Syrian Kurds, who had helped the U.S. fight Islamic State, would be left at the mercy of neighbouring Turkey, which views some of them as terrorists.

In an interview on Sunday, Pompeo described the removal as a "tactical change" and reasserted US efforts remain the same.

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Pompeo told reporters that he spoke with Turkey's foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, on Saturday.

The withdrawal began with shipments of military equipment, US defense officials said.

Mr Pompeo said yesterday that the speech had not taken aim at individuals but rather the ideas of the previous administration, adding that the Obama-era policies opened the way for Islamic State and the spread of Iran's influence in the region.

In a rare acknowledgment that French troops were also in Syria, he said they would leave when there is a political solution in the country.

Just because a "couple thousand uniform personnel" will be leaving Syria, Pompeo said, doesn't mean that USA interests have changed.

"It is a fatal mistake to equate Syrian Kurds with the PKK, which is on the United States terrorists list, and its Syria branch PYD/YPG", Ibrahim Kalin, Turkish presidential spokesperson said on Twitter in response to Trump's threat.

Senior US officials were shocked too, among them Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who quit in protest.

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