US official: Turkey has not crossed the red line and Republicans are seeking sanctions

Turkey's military operation in northern Syria has not yet crossed the red line set by US President Donald Trump, a senior US official said on Thursday.

"This includes ethnic cleansing as well as indiscriminate aerial or ground bombardment of civilians," the official told a news conference with another official, in response to a question about the "definition of this red line."

"We have no notable examples of such behavior at this stage, but it is only the beginning of the Turkish military operation," the official told reporters.

The official stressed that the United States will impose punitive action on Turkey if it is involved in any movements "inhumane and disproportionate" against civilians during its incursion into northeastern Syria.

The official revealed that US President Donald Trump commissioned US diplomats to broker a "ceasefire" between Ankara and the Kurds, in an attempt to end the Turkish attack on northern Syria.

The official said that Trump "cost us to try to find common ground between the two sides, and whether it is possible to reach a cease-fire, and this is what we do," without giving further details.

The US president has offered on Thursday afternoon, to mediate between the Kurds and Turkey, stressing that the United States has three options on the Turkish military operation in northern Syria.

Trump said in a tweet on Twitter, that the options are "send thousands of troops to the region and victory militarily, or hit Turkey financially and through sanctions, or mediate a deal between the Kurds and Turkey."

Amid the chaos and confusion in understanding US policy toward Syria, 29 Republicans in the US House of Representatives said Thursday they would introduce a resolution to impose sanctions on Turkey for its offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria.

This came a day after the announcement of similar legislation in the Senate, said deputies, including Republican leader (in the House of Representatives) Kevin McCarthy and Web Steve Scalisi, they want a strong response to the "aggression of Ankara."

"President Erdogan and his regime must face serious consequences for the merciless attack on our allies," Republican Rep. Liz Cheney (daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney) said in a statement.

He notes the united position between most Republicans and Democrats in the condemnation of US President Trump and the Turkish invasion of Syria.


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