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After offensive in northern Syria: US Senators want Erdogan sanctions

            

              
              
                

            

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<p class= Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen campaigns for sanctions against Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

(Photo: REUTERS)

              

US President Trump threatens the Turkish economy with destruction, yet Turkey launches its announced offensive in northern Syria. US Senators see a red line crossed, sanctions against head of state Erdogan to follow.

              

After the Turkish invasion of northern Syria, US Congressional Senators want to personally sanction Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This emerges from the draft bipartisan resolution by Lindsey Graham (Republican) and Chris Van Hollen (Democrats), published by the two senators. The draft stipulates that any possessions of Erdogan, the Turkish vice-president and five ministers in the US would be frozen. In addition, visa requirements for the country's political leadership would be tightened.

The draft provides for numerous further sanctions against Turkey. Among other things, the sale of US arms for the Turkish armed forces would be banned. Also, foreigners doing armaments business with the Turkish forces would be sanctioned.

Last year, Germany supplied Turkey with weapons worth more than € 240 million, according to government figures, making up almost one-third of German war weapons Exports out. Equal US sanctions would apply to business with the Turkish energy sector.

Nonpartisan Assistance Expected

Van Hollen said the draft resolution would be introduced as soon as Congress resigned from its session break next week return. He will then ask for an immediate vote to send a clear message to Turkey that they must stop the offensive and withdraw their troops.

Graham said he expected broad bipartisan support for the resolution. After the Senate, the House of Representatives would have to vote. Trump could then veto, which could only be outvoted with a two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Criticism of Trump Action

With the withdrawal of US troops from the Syrian border area to the Turkey had paved the way for Trump's Turkish invasion. Graham – otherwise an ally of the president – and numerous other critics accused Trump of abandoning Kurdish militias in northern Syria. They were the closest allies of the US armed forces in the fight against the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS).

Trump threatened Erdogan on Wednesday with economic consequences, should this in Syria not "as humane as possible" proceed. He did not comment on how he would define it. Asked by a reporter if he was worried that Erdogan might "wipe out" the Kurds, Trump said, "If that happens, I'll wipe out his economy." The sanctions against Turkey would go far beyond sanctions.

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