US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he hopes he can mediate between Turkey and the Kurds following Turkey’s assault against Kurdish forces in northeast Syria.
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!” 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.
“We are going to possibly do something very, very tough with respect to sanctions and other financial things,” Trump said without elaborating.
Trump ordered the pullback after a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday, prompting rare criticism from senior figures in his own Republican Party who accused him of deserting loyal US allies – the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The SDF is led by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey considers a “terrorist” group.