An American delegation arrives in Turkey in hopes of negotiating a ceasefire to end the ongoing offensive into northern Syria.
The delegation landed in Ankara Thursday and was expected to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in hopes of mitigating the ongoing operation.
The delegation includes Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien.
President Trump has come under fire in recent days after critics claimed the president gave Erdogan the “green light” to carry out the offensive, an allegation he has vehemently denied.
President Trump sent a letter to Erdogan earlier this month addressing the issue, which was first obtained and released by Fox News on Wednesday.
The letter reaffirms President Trump’s assertions he does not support the Turkish operation, while also threatening economic disaster if Turkey had chosen to undergo the offensive while disregarding the U.S. warning.
It reads, “History will look upon you favourably if you get this done the right and humane way. It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don’t happen. Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool.”
Erdogan has publicly rejected calls for a ceasefire in recent days, and has made it clear he will not halt the offensive until Turkish forces are around 20 miles into Syria.
According to Fox News reports, Russian forces have also been deployed to area in an attempt to create a buffer zone between both Turkish and Kurdish fighters.
President Trump imposed sanctions on Turkey earlier this week and demanded Turkish forces halt the offensive targeting Kurdish forces.
The president signed the executive order Monday authorizing the sanctions, canceled trade talks involving a $100 billion trade deal, and also spiked steel tariffs back up to 50%.
The sanctions target a series of Turkish officials and institutions for the nation’s escalating aggression with Kurdish forces along the Turkish-Syrian border.
The executive order also involves the blocking of property and prohibits certain individuals from entering the United States.