Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) this week introduced a bipartisan measure to impose sanctions on Turkey following its invasion of northern Syria as President Donald Trump called for U.S. troops to pull out from the region.
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) introduced the bill on Wednesday, Oct. 9, warning that the sanctions would be triggered unless the Trump administration “certifies to Congress—every 90 days” that Turkish troops are not operating unilaterally in Syria, and “has withdrawn its armed forces, including Turkish supported rebels, from areas it occupied during the operation.”
The sanctions would target the U.S. assets of members of Turkeys political leadership, including the president, vice president, the ministers of national defense, foreign affairs, treasury and finance, trade and energy, and natural resources. Visa restrictions would be put in place for Turkish leadership traveling to the United States, according to the document, published on Twitter.
I am pleased to have reached a bipartisan agreement with Senator @ChrisVanHollen on severe sanctions against Turkey for their invasion of Syria.
While the Administration refuses to act against Turkey, I expect strong bipartisan support. pic.twitter.com/Ph5fIVt7k3
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 9, 2019
They would also impact “any foreign person” who “sells or provides financial, material, or technological support or knowingly does a transaction” with the countrys military, and any foreign national or entity who “maintains or supports” the Turkish energy sector.
Under the measures, sales of U.S. goods which would provide “military assistance” to the Turkish Armed Forces would also be prohibited.
It comes as Kurdish fighters in Syria were left vulnerable to an attack from Turkish troops after Trumps controversial decision to withdraw American troops from key posts in northern Syria. The move has met with an intense backlash, with Graham publicly denouncing the decision.
“Most Members of Congress believe it would be wrong to abandon the Kurds who have been strong allies against ISIS,” Graham wrote on Twitter on Oct. 9.
Van Hollen tweeted: “Turkey must pay a heavy price for attacking our Syrian Kurdish partners. Senators on both sides of the aisle wont support abandoning the one regional group most responsible for putting ISIS on its heels. Our bipartisan sanctions bill is being finalized now.”
Turkey must pay a heavy price for attacking our Syrian Kurdish partners. Senators on both sides of the aisle wont support abandoning the one regional group most responsible for putting ISIS on its heels. Our bipartisan sanctions bill is being finalized now.
— Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) October 9, 2019
Just two days after U.S. troops pulled out from the region, Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel allies attacked Kurdish militia in northeast Syria on Wednesday, pounding them with airstrikes and artillery before starting a cross-border ground operation.
Turkish media reported troops entering Syria at four points, two of them close to the Syrian town of Tel Abyad and two close to Ras al-Ain further east.
Thousands of people fled Ras al-Ain toward Hasaka province, held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The SDF said that Turkish airstrikes have killed at least five civilians and three fighters from the SDF and wounded dozens of civilians.
“The Turkish Armed Forces and the Syrian National Army have launched the land operation into the east of the Euphrates river as part of the Operation Peace Spring,” the Turkish defense ministry tweeted after nightfall, following a day of pounding the area frRead More – Source