Trump's UN envoy warns Turkey of potential 'consequences' in Syria

Trump's UN envoy warns Turkey of potential 'consequences' in Syria
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The U.S. envoy to the United Nations said Thursday that Turkey's government will face "consequences" if it fails to protect civilians or ensure that Islamic State forces do not benefit from the country's military actions in northern Syria.

Kelly Craft told reporters after a meeting with the U.N. Security Council that the Trump administration was monitoring Turkey's military actions in the area, and warned that the Turkish government should continue to "play by the rules," according to Reuters.

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“Failure to play by the rules, to protect vulnerable populations, failure to guarantee that ISIS cannot exploit these actions to reconstitute will have consequences,” she said.

Craft's statement came shortly after President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE condemned the military action while defending his decision earlier this week to remove U.S. ground troops from the area in advance of Turkey's military engagement.

Trump's decision was widely panned by Republicans and Democrats for essentially paving the way for Turkey to invade northern Syria, with Ankara going after U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces who had been instrumental in the fight on terror.

"This morning, Turkey, a NATO member, invaded Syria. The United States does not endorse this attack and has made it clear to Turkey that this operation is a bad idea," Trump said Wednesday.

"We expect Turkey to abide by all of its commitments, and we continue to monitor the situation closely," the president added.

Trump's decision to remove U.S. forces from northern Syria has drawn heavy criticism from all corners of Washington, as the president faces accusations from his own party of abandoning a U.S. ally to destruction.

Top Republicans in both chambers have excoriated the president over the decision, which Trump has said fulfills his campaign promise to avoid future unnecessary military conflicts.

"Pray for our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump Administration. This move ensures the reemergence of ISIS," Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Graham invites Giuliani to testify about recent Ukraine trip MORE (R-S.C.), a top Trump ally, tweeted Wednesday.