Donald Trump warned his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “don`t be a fool” and said history risked branding him a “devil” in an extraordinary letter sent the day Turkey launched its incursion into north-eastern Syria.
The letter was shorn of diplomatic niceties and began with an outright threat.
“Let`s work out a good deal!” Trump wrote in the letter dated 9 October, whose authenticity was confirmed to various news outlets by the White House.
Days after appearing to greenlight an invasion by pulling US troops from the Kurdish-dominated region, Trump told the Turkish president he would wreck Ankara`s economy if the invasion went too far.
“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 wrote.
“History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way,” Trump continued. “It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don`t happen… Don`t be a tough guy. Don`t be a fool!” he finished, adding: “I will call you later.”