News and Commentary

Trump Admin Takes Action Against Turkey For Syria Invasion
U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to speak at the Values Voter Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019.
Pete Marovich/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Donald Trump announced on Monday that he is imposing sanctions on Turkey over their invasion into Syria, saying: “I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path.”

Trump’s statement comes after Turkey invaded northern Syria following the president’s decision to pull U.S. troops back from the area.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper told CBS News’ Margaret Brennan Sunday on “Face The Nation” that the decision to pull the troops back came after the administration learned that Turkey was planning on invading the area, regardless if U.S. forces were present.

“It became very clear to me that the Turks were fully committed to conducting this incursion. And I think Secretary Pompeo would tell you the same. I know General Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has heard the same,” Esper said. “The Turks were committed to doing this. This should not be a surprise. If you go back in time to when we first began this relationship with the- with the Syrian Kurds at that time in 2014 the Turks were protesting at that moment.”

“But do you actually believe Turkey would fire on U.S. forces?” Brennan asked. “We are NATO allies.”

“Well I don’t know whether they have — they would or they wouldn’t,” Esper responded. “We have reports already of indiscriminate fire landing near American forces.”

Fox News’ Trey Yingst reported on Sunday that there were serious atrocities being committed by Turkey against civilians in the area.

“There is evidence today of war crimes being committed, civilians being targeted and ISIS prisoners escaping,” Yingst reported. “All of this, after the Trump administration made a decision to withdraw a group of American forces meant to deter such an invasion from occurring.”

“To give you a better idea about what is unfolding on the ground, Turkish forces have taken over a number of key roads in the area. On one occasion, a prominent Kurdish politician was stopped, reportedly dragged from the vehicle and executed on the spot,” Yingst continued. “The worst of humanity is unfolding today in Syria as President Trump tweets. Congress considers sanctions that wouldn’t actually be implemented until a later date and the world watches.”

Trump released the following statement on Twitter:

I will soon be issuing an Executive Order authorizing the imposition of sanctions against current and former officials of the Government of Turkey and any persons contributing to Turkey’s destabilizing actions in northeast Syria. Likewise, the steel tariffs will be increased back up to 50 percent, the level prior to reduction in May. The United States will also immediately stop negotiations, being led by the Department of Commerce, with respect to a $100 billion trade deal with Turkey.

This order will enable the United States to impose powerful additional sanctions on those who may be involved in serious human rights abuses, obstructing a ceasefire, preventing displaced persons from returning home, forcibly repatriating refugees, or threatening the peace, security, or stability in Syria. The Order will authorize a broad range of consequences, including financial sanctions, the blocking of property, and barring entry into the United States.

Since my first day in office, the Trump administration has worked tirelessly to preserve the safety and security of the United States and its citizens. The United States and our partners have liberated 100 percent of ISIS’s ruthless territorial caliphate. Turkey must not put these gains in jeopardy. Turkey must also prioritize the protection of civilians, particularly vulnerable ethnic and religious minorities in northeast Syria. Indiscriminate targeting of civilians, destruction of civilian infrastructure, and targeting of ethnic or religious minorities is unacceptable. Additionally, the return of refugees must be conducted in a safe, voluntary, and dignified manner.

Turkey’s military offensive is endangering civilians and threatening peace, security, and stability in the region. I have been perfectly clear with President Erdogan: Turkey’s action is precipitating a humanitarian crisis and setting conditions for possible war crimes. Turkey must ensure the safety of civilians, including religious and ethnic minorities, and is now, or may be in the future, responsible for the ongoing detention of ISIS terrorists in the region. Unfortunately, Turkey does not appear to be mitigating the humanitarian effects of its invasion.

As I have said, I am withdrawing the remaining United States service members from northeast Syria. As United States forces have defeated the ISIS physical caliphate, United States 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 Iraq. A small footprint of United States forces will remain at Tanf Garrison in southern Syria to continue to disrupt remnants of ISIS.

The United States will aggressively use economic sanctions to target those who enable, facilitate, and finance these heinous acts in Syria. I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Trump Admin Takes Action Against Turkey For Syria Invasion