A senior State Department official said that President Trump had tasked the department with “trying to see if there are areas of commonality between the two sides, if there’s a way that we could find our way to a ceasefire.”
“Right now, that’s the work that we’re doing, but I can’t describe in any more detail,” the official told reporters on a conference call today.
The official said that since Trump's call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday, there had been “various diplomatic exchanges that President Erdogan has in various ways been involved on.” Two officials confirmed on Wednesday that US Ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield attended a meeting at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs that morning.
The senior State Department official Trump is “trying to find common ground to come up with a ceasefire, come up with a way to bridge the gap between the [Kurdish People's Protection Units] wing of the [Turkish Kurdistan Workers Party] and Turkey.” He said the President would “most prefer” to do “a negotiated settlement.”
The official said there had been no conversations between the US and the Syrian government on the Turkish military operation.
Some background: The US already tried to mediate a deal called "The Security Mechanism" between the Turks and the Kurds. The US convinced the Kurds to remove their troops from the border and dismantle their defensive fortifications as part of the deal aimed at appeasing Turkey. The US also gave Turkey access to airspace and intelligence on the area, intelligence that was likely used by Turkey to formulate its target lists. The US said it was working days before Turkey launched the offensive.