United States President Donald Trump said on Monday that he will “obliterate” the Turkish economy if the country does anything in Syria which he considers to be off-limits. The United States had announced earlier in the day that Turkish forces would soon begin a military operation against United States-backed Kurdish forces in northern Syria.

“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey [I’ve done before!],” Trump tweeted. “They must, with Europe and others, watch over the captured ISIS [Islamic State] fighters and their families.”

Trump said that the United States has done far more in Syria than any other country, including the “capture of 100% of the ISIS Caliphate”. “It is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory,” he added. “THE USA IS GREAT!”

The US made the announcement of a Turkish offensive in Syria after a phone call between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. During the phone call, Erdogan had expressed frustration at a lack of progress in establishing a “safe zone” in north-eastern Syria along the border with Turkey.

Turkey wants the zone to be free of Kurdish YPG militia who Istanbul considers terrorists. The YPG was a major part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the US-supported force that defeated the Islamic State group in Syria.

The White House had in its statement earlier in the day said that Turkey would take all responsibility for Islamic State group fighters captured over the past two years, and would also resettle up to two million Syrian refugees in a safe zone along the border. Currently, Turkey hosts 3.6 million Syrians from the conflict.

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