Trump imposes sanctions on Turkey amid conflict in northern Syria

WION Web Team
Washington Updated: Oct 15, 2019, 07:43 AM(IST)

File photo: US President Donald Trump with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. Photograph:( AFP )

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US Treasury Department said it was imposing sanctions on Turkey's defence, interior and energy ministers.

The Trump administration on Monday imposed sanctions on Turkey even as its military forces continued their push into northern Syria.

"I will soon be issuing executive order authorizing the imposition of sanctions against current and former officials of the Government of Turkey," President Trump said, adding,"the steel tariffs will be increased back to 50 per cent, the level prior to the reduction in May."

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"The US will also immediately stop negotiations being led by the Department of Commerce with respect to $100 billion in trade deal with Turkey," the US president declared.

Turkey, a NATO ally began its military campaign in northern Syria last week after President Trump announced he would be pulling US troops out of the area. The resulting military offensive took several nations by surprise with France, Germany and other NATO nations calling for restraint.

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The US Treasury Department said it was imposing sanctions on Turkey's defence, interior and energy ministers, freezing their US assets and making US transactions with them a crime.

"Turkey's military offensive is endangering civilians and threatening peace and security and stability in the region," Trump said in a statement. "Turkey must ensure the safety of civilians, including religious and ethnic minorities, he added.

"Unfortunately, Turkey does not appear to be mitigating the humanitarian effects of the invasion," Trump said.

"US troops coming out of Syria will now redeploy and remain in the region to monitor the situation and prevent a repeat of 2014, when the neglected threat of ISIS raged across Syria and Irag."

"A small footprint of US troops will remain at Tanf Garrison in southern Syria to continue to disrupt remnants of ISIS," the US president asserted.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence said he would travel shortly to Turkey and that Trump had telephoned Erdogan on Tuesday to insist that Turkey end the operation.

"I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey's economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path," Trump said.

As Turkey continued its push into Syria, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he would head next week to Brussels to ask NATO allies to punish Turkey over the incursion.

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