US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he hopes he can mediate between Turkey and the Kurds following Turkey’s offensive on US-allied Kurds in northeast Syria.
Donald Trump, who pulled US troops out of the area before the Turkish attack, said on Twitter that the United States had three options.
“We have one of three choices: Send in thousands of troops and win militarily, hit Turkey very hard financially and with sanctions, or mediate a deal between Turkey and the Kurds!” Donald Trump said.
“I hope we can mediate,” Trump said when asked about the options by reporters at the White House
“Turkey knows where I stand,” he said. Trump said he did not think Americans wanted to see the US military sent back into the region.
Donald J. Trump
We defeated 100% of the ISIS Caliphate and no longer have any troops in the area under attack by Turkey, in Syria. We did our job perfectly! Now Turkey is attacking the Kurds, who have been fighting each other for 200 years….
Donald J. Trump
….We have one of three choices: Send in thousands of troops and win Militarily, hit Turkey very hard Financially and with Sanctions, or mediate a deal between Turkey and the Kurds!
“We are going to possibly do something very very tough with respect to sanctions and other financial things,” Trump said without elaborating.
Donald Trump ordered the pullback after a phone call with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday, prompting rare criticism from senior figures in his own Republican Party who accuse him of deserting loyal US allies – the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) led by Kurdish YPG militia. The SDF have been the main allies of US forces on the ground in the battle against Islamic State since 2014.
Trump has called the Turkish assault a “bad idea,” said he did not endorse it, and threatened to devastate the NATO ally’s economy if Ankara’s incursion into Syria wipes out the Kurdish population there.