TURKEY’S President Erdogan slammed Donald Trump’s letter for its “lack or respect” as he warns he warns Kurds he will resume attacks.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly chucked the US president’s letter in the bin after receiving it.
During a press conference today, Erdogan said Mr Trump’s letter “was not in line with diplomatic and political courtesy”.
He added: “We will not forget this lack of respect. This is not a priority for us.
“But when the time comes, we would like it to be known that we will take the necessary step.”
Erdogan also threatened Washington by giving Mr Trump just 120 hours to get the Kurds out of his “safe zone” or his attacks on the Syrian border will resume.
He said Turkey will continue its offensive if Syrian Kurdish fighters do not leave the area by the end of the five-day ceasefire.
Erdogan said: “If the United States is able to keep the promises it gave us by Tuesday night, at the end of the 120-hour period, the issue of a safe zone will have been resolved.
“But if this promise is not kept, without exception, the minute the 120 hours end, our Operation Peace Spring will resume from where it left off in an even more determined way.”
Mr Trump today said Erdogan had assured him that “he very much wants the ceasefire, or pause, to work”.
He tweeted: “Likewise, the Kurds want it, and the ultimate solution, to happen.
“There is good will on both sides & a really good chance for success.”
It comes after images were released showing a Kurdish child screaming “stop the burning” after having his skin melted by white phosphorus allegedly used by Turkish forces in Syria.
Staff at the hospital in Tal Tamir, in the northeast of the war zone, were reduced to tears by 13-year-old Mohammed Hamid Mohammed’s injuries.
‘DON’T BE A FOOL’
The young teen suffered severe burns from his throat to his waist which penetrated deeply into his flesh which suggests they were caused by banned chemical weapons, The Times reports.
Erdogan yesterday agreed to the five-day truce to allow for the withdrawal of Kurdish forces from the region.
However, there are reports today that airstrikes by Turkey have killed another five civilians in northeast Syria despite the ceasefire agreement.
No less than 13 hours the truce, shelling and smoke could be seen around the Kurdish-held city of Ras al-Ayn – near the hospital where Mohammad is being treated – this morning, it has been reported.
In the days before the ceasefire, Turkey had been intensifying its assault on Kurdish-held city of Ras al-Ain.
In Mr Trump’s controversial letter, he threatened he would “destroy” the Turkish economy if he stepped out of line, adding: “Don’t be a fool!”
Trump added that he wanted to “work out a good deal” and that his counterpart in Ankara was at risk of being viewed in history as “the devil”.
Penned on October 9, the terse letter – leaked on Wednesday – was sent just as Trump announced the shock withdrawal of US troops in northeast Syria.
But a Turkish government source told the BBC: “President Erdogan received the letter, thoroughly rejected it and put it in the bin.”
MOST READ IN WORLD NEWS
Mr Trump wrote: “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.”
He added: “I have worked hard to solve some of your problems. Don’t let the world down. You can make a great deal.”
Last week’s sudden removal of the American military presence in northern Syria was seen by US allies the Kurds – a sworn enemy of Turkey – as a stab in the back.
A 13-year-old boy is treated in a Syrian hospital after allegedly being badly burned by banned chemical weapons[/caption]