United States President Donald Trump warned his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told him "not to be a fool" and threatened to destroy the country's economy in a striking letter sent on the day Turkey launched its incursion into northeastern Syria.
The letter, which has left the White House red-faced, comes days after the US decided to pull troops from the Kurdish-dominated region.
Trump urged Erdogan to make deal with Kurds
Trump starts the letter urging Erdogan to strike a deal with the Kurds, followed by the threat: "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."
Trump told Erdogan a "great deal" can be accomplished by negotiating with the head of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, Mazloum Abdi.
'Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool!'
Trump added, "History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way. 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!"
Fox Business reporter Trish Regan first accessed the letter
Meanwhile, former CIA officer and National Security Council spokesman criticized the letter saying, "These words on White House stationary(sic) should embarrass all Americans, but Trump's confidential enclosure of the SDF Commander's letter will give our allies even less reason to trust America."
SDF Commander Abdi has been labeled a "terrorist" by Turkey owing to his ties to the Kurdish PKK militants in the country.
Actually thought it was a prank: Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley
Separately, Democratic congressman Mike Quigley said to CNN, "I actually thought it was a prank, a joke, that it couldn't possibly come from the Oval Office."
Quigley further said, "It sounds all the world like the president of the United States, in some sort of momentary lapse, just dictated angrily whatever was on the top of his head."
Trump boasted about his move to withdraw US troops
Recently, Trump hailed his own decision to withdraw US troops in Syria as "strategically brilliant" because he paved the way for a Turkish offensive. However, both state and defense departments' official assessment declared the move a disaster for regional stability and the fight against ISIS.