Turkey's ongoing Operation Peace Spring in northeastern Syria is not our problem, U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday.
"I view the situation on the Turkish border with Syria to be, for the United States, strategically brilliant. Our soldiers are out of there," Trump told reporters at the Oval Office.
Trump said Turkey's operation should be dealt with between Turkey and the Syrian regime.
"They've got a lot of sand over there," Trump said. "There's a lot of sand they can play with," he added.
In defending his decision to leave Syria, the president said YPG/PKK is not "angel".
The comments come as the president prepares to send Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Ankara later Wednesday to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with the stated aim of brokering a cease-fire in northeastern Syria.
Erdogan, however, has rejected offers to “mediate,” saying, "The Republic of Turkey never in its history sat down at a table with terrorist groups. We are not looking for a mediator for that."
Turkey began its long planned military operation Oct. 9 to secure its borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Turkish leaders have repeatedly underlined that the operation does not target Kurds, but aims to clear the region of the terror group PKK and its Syrian offshoot YPG.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
By Michael Hernandez in Washington, D.C.