(CNBC) -- President Donald Trump is prepared to use military force against Turkey over its actions in Syria if “needed,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday as U.S. troops withdrew from the region.
“We prefer peace to war,” Pompeo told CNBC’s Wilfred Frost in a taped interview that aired on “Closing Bell” on Monday. “But in the event that kinetic action or military action is needed, you should know that President Trump is fully prepared to undertake that action.”
Advertisement - story continues below
The president is under heavy criticism for his decision to withdraw American forces from northern Syria, abandoning the Kurds, who led the ground war against ISIS. The withdrawal precipitated Turkey’s incursion into the border zone earlier this month, which has left more than 120 civilians dead, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.