Tuesday, 22 October, 2019

In response to possible USA sanctions, Turkey says it will retaliate

United States threatens Turkey with 'very significant' sanctions Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin speaks at a news briefingMore
Jean Garcia | 12 October, 2019, 08:45

However, Mnuchin also said the Trump administration hopes to avoid using the sanctions even as he vowed that the United States "can shut down the Turkish economy if we need to".

"These are very powerful sanctions", Mnuchin said.

After declaring the Kurds were on their own to defend themselves in northern Syria, President Trump on October 10 said he supported sanctions against Turkey.

Mr. Trump's decision to remove American forces from the region in advance of the Turkish offensive has been met with bipartisan condemnation in Congress. Lawmakers are moving forward with bipartisan sanctions legislation, which could have enough votes to override a presidential veto. Turkey long has considered the Kurdish forces a terrorist extension of Kurdish separatists within Turkey who have been fighting for an autonomous state. "We do not want to lose an additional thousands of Turkish citizens at the hands of PKK as a result of the terror corridor in the making on the other side of our border with Syria".

In a rare break from Trump, some of his fellow Republicans have sharply criticized the president's decision.

Trump accountant told by Court of Appeals to surrender tax records
The case is one of several working its way through courts in which Mr Trump is fighting with Congress over records. Judge Tatel was appointed by President Bill Clinton. 'And that is precisely what the Framers intended'.

But a U.S. official familiar with the situation on the ground said that on Thursday the USA was "seeing reports of civilian casualties from what looks like indiscriminate bombing of dense population centers".

Yet Republican allies have broken with Mr. Trump over the issue.

The executive order will empower Treasury to sanction individuals and entities involved in human rights abuses or in undermining security in northern Syria. The YPG is a group that leads the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and has been a USA ally against Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).

"The president is concerned about the ongoing military offensive, and potential targeting of civilians, civilian infrastructure, ethnic or religious minorities", Mnuchin said. And on Friday, the group reported that five ISIS members had escaped from a prison after Turkish mortar rounds landed nearby.

Congress has "been waiting months for Secretary Mnuchin to levy sanctions passed by Congress in response to Turkey's decision to purchase and take delivery of the Russian S-400 missile defense system, which puts it at odds with its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies", the Maryland Democrat said.

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