President Donald Trump has spoken to Turkeys President Tayyip Erdoğan and asked for an immediate ceasefire in the ongoing Turkish invasion of Syria.
The president also announced a series of sanctions that would “cripple” the Turkish economy.
Trump later dispatched vice president Mike Pence to the Middle East in order to prevent the situation from escalating further.
The latest development comes as many criticize Trump for his rush decision that undermined the five-year effort to contain the Islamic State from the region.
Over 1000 Islamic State fighters have since escaped from detention as clashes between Kurdish fighters and Turkish backed militia intensified.
Trump had earlier accused the Kurdish fighters of deliberately releasing the ISIS prisoners.
There have been reports of Turkish soldiers executing the Kurdish fighters and civilians on the battlefield. Kurdish fighters had earlier lamented the US decision to withdraw, indicating that the United States had left them “to die”.
Trump has denied that he had approved Turkey’s invasion in Syria, a move many see as attempts to save face.
Many politicians on both sides had warned of the impending catastrophe, and Nancy Pelosi threatened to stop Trump from making the Syrian exit.
Trump has announced $100 billion dollars sanctions against current and former Turkish leaders. Additionally, he has halted any trade negotiations, and reinstated a 50% tariff on steel, a move seen as too little too late.
Erdoğan has sworn to continue with the operation regardless of the pressure from European countries.
Many European countries including Italy, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands have halted arms sales to the Middle Eastern country.
Trump had promised withdrawal of US troops from Syria and had claimed that the exit was part of his election promise. Defending his move, Trump said that it was a very smart decision to avoid being involved in an endless war.
Trump’s latest round of sanctions will not satisfy the Congress as leading Democrats have called for Republicans to join hands to reverse Trump’s decision to pull out from Syria, yet now TRUMP DEMANDS IMMEDIATE CEASEFIRE.