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.
“We are going to possibly do something very, very tough with respect to sanctions and other financial things,” Trump added without elaborating.
Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urged Turkey to show “restraint” as the country continued its offensive.
In a news conference in Athens, Stoltenberg called on Turkey to ensure its actions in the region were “measured and proportionate.”
Speaking alongside Stoltenberg, Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the offensive would add difficulty in finding a political solution to end Syria’s long civil war.
On the other hand, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said his country’s operation would not go further than 30km (20 miles) deep into Syria.
“When we go 30km deep in the safe zone, terror there will be removed,” he told CNN Turk, referring to the presence of Kurdish fighters considered by Ankara as “terrorists”,
Cavusoglu also said Turkey had the right to use the air space over Syria as part of its campaign and that the “air space does not belong to the United States”.