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10 Oct, 2019 20:40

War, sanctions or deal: Trump says US has ‘three choices’ with Turkey in Syria

War, sanctions or deal: Trump says US has ‘three choices’ with Turkey in Syria

US President Donald Trump has laid out three choices for Washington in dealing with Turkey’s incursion into Syria, including a “deal” between Ankara and the US-allied Kurdish militias.

Noting that the Kurds and Turkey have been “fighting each other for 200 years” and that no US troops are in the area of Syria under attack by Turkish troops, the US president spelled out the options of his administration on Twitter, seemingly inviting a response from the general public.

One of the options was “send in thousands of troops and win militarily,” which he has not been inclined towards in the past. Another was to “hit Turkey very hard” with sanctions and financially. The last, not mentioned before, was to “mediate a deal between Turkey and the Kurds!”

Asked which option he preferred, Trump said "I hope it’s going to be the last one.”

“I hope we can mediate,” he told reporters outside the White House on Thursday. “Turkey knows where I stand.”

The tweets come amid criticism from Trump’s his own party as well as the Democrats over his supposed “betrayal” of the Kurds and giving Ankara the “green light” for ‘Operation Peace Spring’ to carve out a “safe zone” along the border. 

Also on rt.com No ‘peace’ spring: Turkish invasion of northeastern Syria met with worldwide condemnation

On Monday, Trump announced the pullout of some 50 US troops from the Syrian-Turkish border region, where they were advising and supporting Kurdish YPG and YJ militias. While Washington has relied on the Kurds to fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), Turkey considers both militias to be terrorist organizations.

Trump has defended his decision by saying he wanted to pull US troops out of “endless wars” in the Middle East, noting that IS has been “100 percent defeated” – a claim he repeated on Thursday.

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