Speaking with journalists on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said that he does "agree on sanctions, but I actually think much tougher than sanctions", referring to possible consequences for Turkey after Ankara kicked off a military offensive in Syria's north.
The US president revealed that Washington had moved several dangerous Daesh terrorist fighters from prisons in northern Syria amid the Turkish offensive.
"We are taking some of the most dangerous ISIS [Daesh] fighters out, we've taken them out", Trump said. "We're putting them in different locations where it's secure".
Trump also mentioned that the United States' involvement in the Middle East is "the worst mistake".
"The worst mistake that the United States has ever made in my opinion was going into the Middle East [...] We're policing areas, we're doing jobs other countries should be doing. We're doing jobs frankly that Europe should be doing. We're doing jobs that Russia should be doing, that Iran should be doing, that Iraq, Turkey, Syria should be doing”, Trump said.
Following aerial and artillery attacks on military positions of the Kurdish militia, Turkish forces launched another military stage of their 'Operation Peace Spring' by advancing into the northern territory of the war-torn country.
An estimated 40 commanders of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been killed or injured as a result of attacks by the Turkish Air Force in border areas in northeast Syria earlier on Wednesday, an eyewitness said.
Earlier in the day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the start of 'Operation Peace Spring' in northern Syria against Kurdish groups and Daesh terrorists. Erdogan said the goal of the operation is to neutralize terror threats against Turkey and establish a safe zone in the area.
The Kurdish-led SDF is reported to currently be detaining at least 12,000 suspected Daesh fighters spread out over seven prison facilities inside Syria near the Turkish border, according to the BBC. An estimated 4,000 of those detained are thought to be foreign nationals.
Turkey views Kurdish forces in Syria as an extension of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), which is considered by Ankara to be a terrorist organization. The People’s Protection Units (YPG) is the armed wing of the PKK.
*Daesh (ISIS, ISIL, IS, Islamic State) is a terrorist organization banned in Russia and many other countries.