US and Russia refuse to condemn Turkey over military strike in Syria

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The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. instead warned of vague 'consequences' if Turkey did not 'play by the rules.'

Donald Trump continues to send mixed messages about Turkey's expansion of military action in Syria.

Despite Trump's recent criticism of the Turkish offensive targeting American allies in the region -- after he effectively paved the way for the strikes earlier in the week -- the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations wouldn't join international condemnations of Turkey on Thursday.

"As the president has made abundantly clear, the United States has not in any way endorsed the decision of the government of Turkey to mount a military incursion into Northeast Syria," Kelly Craft, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said following a closed-door meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

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However, Craft's statement only warned of vague "consequences" if Turkey failed "to play by the rules, to protect vulnerable populations ... to guarantee that ISIS cannot exploit these actions to reconstitute."

According to the Washington Post, as well as a report from Turkish state-run media, the 15-nation U.N. Security Council failed to issue a joint statement condemning Turkey's incursion into the Kurdish region of Syria after the United States and Russia objected.

Instead, representatives of Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Poland denounced Erdogan's actions after the council's closed-door meeting.

Trump has threatened to "totally destroy and obliterate" Turkey's economy after receiving intense scrutiny from numerous members of Congress — including many high-profile Republicans.

With American support, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have liberated multiple Syrian cities that were once controlled by ISIS. U.S. intelligence officials have estimated that Trump's decision to abandon the SDF could result in the release of 12,000 ISIS prisoners.

Trump's refusal to contribute to the U.N. hasn't been limited to diplomacy: The international organization is currently in severe debt, thanks in large part to the $1 billion that Trump's government still owes it.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.