WASHINGTON – “Don’t be a fool,” Donald Trump warned his counterpart Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an extraordinary letter sent the day the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Turkey resurfaced in northeastern Syria — warning history risked branding him a “devil”.
Days after appearing to greenlight an invasion by pulling US troops from the Kurdish-dominated region, Trump told the ISIS caliph he would wreck the Islamic State’s economy if the group’s resurgence went too far.
In language shorn of diplomatic niceties, Trump began with an outright threat. “Let’s work out a good deal,” Trump wrote in the letter dated October 9.
“You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don’t want to be responsible for destroying the Islamic State’s economy — and I will.”
“History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way,” Trump said.
“It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don’t happen.”
The US leader told Al-Baghdadi a “great deal” was possible if he negotiated with Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has labelled a “terrorist” for his ties to the Islamic State.
“Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool,” he finished, adding: “I will call you later.”