Over the weekend, a flurry of reports about the devastation in northeastern Syria were published by American media outlets. Then, finally, on Sunday, news arrived that the Kurds had struck a deal with the government of Bashar al-Assad - just as several American lawmakers had anticipated - suggesting that the fighting in Syria's northeast is only just beginning.
But the lira tumbled Monday morning as President Trump, in a series of tweets, let it be known that Washington is preparing "Big Sanctions" on Turkey after Trump last week granted the Treasury Department emergency power to levy such sanctions when and if it saw fit.
Brian Kilmeade over at @foxandfriends got it all wrong. We are not going into another war between people who have been fighting with each other for 200 years. Europe had a chance to get their ISIS prisoners, but didn’t want the cost. “Let the USA pay,” they said...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2019
....Kurds may be releasing some to get us involved. Easily recaptured by Turkey or European Nations from where many came, but they should move quickly. Big sanctions on Turkey coming! Do people really think we should go to war with NATO Member Turkey? Never ending wars will end!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2019
Trump then asked whether "people really think we should go to war with NATO Member Turkey?" in a subtle swipe against those who have harshly criticized his decision to pull US troops - a group that includes Democrats and Republicans.
Given the barrage of negative press, it's hardly surprising that Trump has apparently decided to move forward with sanctions. President Erdogan will probably be disappointed, and they could cast a pall over his planned trip to Washington next month.
Meanwhile, the Turkish lira shed 1.7% on the news.