In a letter penned last week, President Trump urged Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to make a deal with the U.S. before invading Syria—telling him not to be a “tough guy” or a “fool.” “Let’s work out a deal! You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don’t want to be destroying the Turkish economy—and I will,” Trump wrote in the Oct. 9 letter. “Don’t let the world down. You can make a great deal.” He then said that history would “look up on (him) forever as the devil” if “good things don’t happen.” “Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool! I’ll call you later,” Trump wrote at the end of the missive.
Last week, Trump announced his decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria, abandoning Kurdish forces in the region that have been allies with the U.S. in its fight against ISIS. On Monday, the Trump administration slapped Turkey with retaliatory sanctions after the country launched an incursion into northern Syria. Turkey has forged ahead with its offensive despite calls for a ceasefire.