President Trump on Tuesday took to Twitter to double down on his claims that he's not siding with Turkey over America's Kurdish allies with his decision to pull a small number of troops from northern Syria, a decision that apparently paves the way for Turkey to attack the Syrian-Kurdish force that has helped the US in its fight against ISIS. But his words for Turkey were a bit more defensive and less harsh than they were Monday. The latest:
- Trump reiterated that "in no way have we Abandoned the Kurds," whom he described as "special people and wonderful fighters" who are getting financial support and weapons from the US. As for Turkey, he wrote the country knows "any unforced or unnecessary fighting ... will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency." The Hill sees it as a softening from Monday, when Trump said he could "obliterate" Turkey's economy if it did anything that he found off-limits.
- Trump offered a defense of Turkey, too, tweeting, "So many people conveniently forget that Turkey is a big trading partner of the United States. In fact they make the structural steel frame for our F-35 Fighter Jet." (Though that relationship ended in July after Turkey bought a Russian missile system.) He continued by saying "they have also been good to deal with" and are an "important member in good standing of NATO."