U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order imposing “powerful” sanctions against Turkey for its incursion into northeast Syria.
“The United States will aggressively use economic sanctions to target those who enable, facilitate, and finance these heinous acts in Syria,” Trump said in a statement. “I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkeys economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path.”
The White House announced that tariffs on steel imports from Turkey will double, reverting back to 50 percent from the current rate of 25 percent. Trump imposed a tariff hike on Turkey last year after the country held Andrew Brunson, American pastor, on charges of espionage.
The executive order also stated that the Commerce Department would be suspending negotiations on an unknown trade deal worth $100 billion. The White House and Commerce Department have declined to comment on the deal.
Trump has come under fire from swaths of lawmakers, including fellow Republicans, for his decision to pull back U.S. troops from the war-torn region.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement on Monday saying he was “gravely concerned” about the U.S. response to Turkeys attacks on Kurdish allies in Syria.
“Abandoning this fight now and withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria would re-create the very conditions that we have worked hard to destroy and invite the resurgence of ISIS,” McConnell said. “And such a withdrawal would also create a broader power vacuum in Syria that will be exploited by Iran and Russia, a catastrophic outcome for the United States strategic interests.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican-South Carolina) joined forces on Monday to announce they want Congress to “overturn” Trumps decision.
“Just spoke with Speaker Pelosi regarding congressional action on Turkeys incursion of Syria. Speaker supports bipartisan sanctions against Turkeys outrages in Syria. She also believes we should show support for Kurdish allies and is concerned about the reemergence of ISIS,” Graham wrote on Twitter.
“As we find ourselves in a situation where the President gave a green light to the Turks to bomb and effectively unleashed ISIS, we must have a stronger sanctions package than what the White House is suggesting,” Pelosi tweeted later.
The withdrawal of U.S. troops has allowed the Turkish military to proceed with a planned invasion into northern Syria, where Kurdish fighters had aided American forces in fighting what was left of the ISIS terror group.
Reports coming out of Syria say Turkish-backed fighters may be committing war crimes. Images have been posted on social media showing the violence, including a graphic video that purports to show the execution of a Kurdish man by a Turkish fighter.
Trump said his executive order would impose “powerful additional sanctions” on Turkish officials or anyone else “who may be involved in serious human rights abuses, obstructing a ceasefire, preventing displaced persons from returRead More – Source