In an interview with CNBC on Monday, the high-ranking Trump administration official stressed that the U.S. prefers "peace to war... 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."
Pompeo's remarks came just weeks after the White House unexpectedly made a decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, opening the door for Turkey to launch a cross-border offensive against the Kurdish YPG militia, considered by Ankara a terrorist organization due to its ties to Kurdish separatists in Turkey.
An attack by the U.S. against Turkey would shatter the 70-year-old NATO alliance, which centers on the principle that an attack on one member is an attack on all
Meanwhile, a deadline for the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from areas in northeastern Syria expires on Tuesday evening, a Turkish military source said, as part of a 120-hour suspension agreed between Ankara and Washington.
Ankara has warned that violence will resume if Kurdish forces do not evacuate from the area, where it plans to set up a 75-mile "safe zone" between Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain.