ADDS ADDITIONAL TRUMP COMMENTS, BACKGROUND
By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday mediation is an option as Turkey continues to carry out its Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria.
"We defeated 100% of the ISIS Caliphate and no longer have any troops in the area under attack by Turkey, in Syria. We did our job perfectly!" Trump said on Twitter, defending his decision to pull back troops from the Syrian border.
He was using another name for the Daesh terror group.
"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!" he added.
Trump earlier Thursday said he is talking to "both sides" as Turkey carries out its ongoing operation.
Trump announced Sunday the pullback of U.S. forces ahead of the start of the Operation Peace Spring, a move that has drawn stiff resistance from Capitol Hill.
Turkey launched the operation Wednesday to secure its borders by eliminating terrorist elements and to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees and Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to secure its borders by eliminating terrorist elements from PKK and its Syrian offshoot, PYD-YPG, and to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees as well as Syria’s territorial integrity.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.