Trump: The Dispute is between Turkey and Syria
US President Donald Trump has said that he would prefer imposing sanctions on Turkey rather than having military forces fighting in the region.
"I'd always rather use economic power before I use military power," Trump told reporters after a meeting with his Italian counterpart at the White House.
The US on Monday (October 14) imposed sanctions on Turkey's high-level officials, including the Interior Minister and the Defense Minister, over the military operation Ankara launched in northern Syria.
Trump will meet with US lawmakers who found the sanctions insufficient.
Liz Cheney, a Republican congressperson, announced a sanctions bill that includes a ban on military assistance and arms sales to Turkey will be introduced in the house of representatives.
The ban would apply to anyone who provides financial, material or technological support to or knowingly conducts a transaction with Turkey's armed forces, the Military Times reported.
"I viewed the situation on the Turkish border with Syria to be for the United States strategically brilliant. Our soldiers are out of there. Our soldiers are totally safe. They've got to work it out. Maybe they can do it without fighting," Trump said, adding that US Vice-President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will try to persuade President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to end the conflict.
Pence and Pompeo will meet with Erdoğan in the capital Ankara tomorrow.
Harshly criticized for abandoning the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which has been the main US ally in the fight against ISIS, Trump said, "Kurds are not angels."
Turkey started its military offensive in SDF-held areas on October 9, following the withdrawal of the US troops after a phone call between Trump and Erdoğan.
"They fought with us. We paid a lot of money for them to fight with us, and that's OK. They did well when they fought with us. They didn't do so well when they didn't fight with us," Trump said.