Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had a simple response to President Trump’s Oct. 9 letter warning him against taking action along the Syrian border: He threw it “in the bin.”
Sources close to Erdogan confirmed to the BBC Thursday that the Turkish strongman “thoroughly rejected” the letter in which Trump threatened to “[destroy] the Turkish economy” if he took military action in Syria following his announcement several days earlier to withdraw all U.S. troops from the northeast of Syria.
Erdogan reportedly took the letter warning against being a “fool” and tossed it “in the bin,” the sources said.
The letter, first obtained by Fox Business Network, came the same day Erdogan launched a Turkish military offensive into Syria, claiming it wanted to "neutralize terror threats" and establish a "safe zone."
Turkish forces last Wednesday carried out airstrikes and later announced ground troops had invaded northeastern Syria.
Nearly all U.S. troops there have been removed and will be redeployed in the region in the coming weeks, something critics said was the “green light” for Erdogan to act.
Trump’s letter called on Erdogan to “work out a good deal.”
“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," the letter continued.
"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,” Trump warned.
Trump has defended his actions in Syria and said Wednesday that the letter was in no way a “green light” for Erdogan to attack the Kurds, U.S. allies in recent efforts to bring the Islamic State to heel.
Fox News Melissa Leon contributed to this report.