Esper and Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said they had spoken with their Turkish counterparts repeatedly in recent days, asking them to stop.

But there was no sense that Turkey would do so, they said.

“I’m not seeing any indication or warnings of any planned stoppage of their military activity,” said Milley, the top U.S. military officer.

After Milley spoke, President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey will not stop its operation against the Kurdish militia “no matter what anyone says.”