US officials on Thursday revealed that President Donald Trump has warned of sanctions if the Turkish offensive does not remain "humane". He also said Trump had called for diplomats to negotiate a ceasefire between Kurdish fighters and Turkey before the infiltration began.
After major criticism by the State Department and the US military for betraying Kurdish allies, Trump reverted his earlier understanding of the military operation and stated that Turkey risks the imposition of US sanctions if the military operation is not "humane".
The US will intervene if violations such as "ethnic cleansing... indiscriminate artillery, air and other fires directed at civilian populations" takes place, a US official was quoted as saying by AFP.
"That is what we're looking at right now. We have not seen significant examples of that so far, but we're very early," said the official.
He also said that the US is "concerned about indiscriminate firings" and is closely monitoring the situation.
Trump had a call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday following which he withdrew US troops stationed against Turkey, allowing the military operation to take place
Officials claim that since the phone call, various diplomatic exchanges between the US and Turkey, involving President Erdogan have taken place. A meeting at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs was attended by US Ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield on Wednesday, two officials told AFP.
However, no official talks have taken place between the US and the Syrian government regarding the Turkish offensive.
The US sanctions threat against Turkey
Turkey launched airstrikes and shelling against Syria on Wednesday which was followed by thousands of civilians getting displaced a day later as the conflict got flagged as a developing humanitarian crisis.
After siding with Turkey, Trump on Thursday stated that the US military has three options: "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!"
The SDF accused the US of breaching its commitments to the Kurdish forces as joint military cooperation between the two forces has fought the Islamic State, also known as Daesh fighters, in eastern and northern Syria.
"Despite our efforts to avoid any military escalation with Turkey and the flexibility we have shown to move forward in establishing a mechanism for the security of the borders ..., the American forces did not fulfil their commitments and withdrew their forces from the border areas with Turkey," the SDF stated.
Joint military operation between the US and the SDF in March had led to the landmark end of the "caliphate" that was declared by its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2014.
On the accusations of betraying the Kurdish fighters, Trump on Wednesday stated that he condemned the Turkish military operation and said: "In no way have we abandoned the Kurds."
"The United States does not endorse this attack and has made it clear to Turkey that this operation is a bad idea," he said.
On the threat of mass displacement and massacre in the region, he said: "Turkey has committed to protecting civilians, protecting religious minorities, including Christians, and ensuring no humanitarian crisis takes place — and we will hold them to this commitment."
Despite his statements, the move indicates at White House deciding to avoid the conflict of being stuck between two of its allies. Experts have asserted that the US' abrupt withdrawal from the region will result in de-stability, the resurgence of Islamic State and invite Iranian and Russian-backed government forces to intervene in the region.
An estimated 70,000 people have been displaced since Thursday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimation revealed, reported AFP.