US Sanctions Turkey Over Syria Offensive

by Ritu Versha 2 years ago Views 1100

Turkey-Syria offensive
The US on Tuesday imposed sanctions on Turkish ministries and departments in a move to punish Turkey for its military assault on Syria, adding it would also double tariffs on the country’s steel exports to 50 per cent.

The move comes after the Syrian Kurds sealed a deal with the regime and its Russian backers to fend off Turkey’s invasion.

The Turkish had launched an offensive into Kurdish-held territory in northern Syria last week it said is aimed at creating a “safe zone” for Syrian refugees by removing the Kurdish-led forces.

Steven Mnuchin, US Treasury Secretary, said President Trump had signed an executive order, effective immediately, imposing sanctions on Turkey’s defence, energy and interior ministers, as well as the Turkish government’s defence and energy departments, freezing their US assets and making US transactions with them a crime.

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

Mr Trump had also spoken directly with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, demanding an immediate truce.

Vice President Mike Pence said he would travel to Turkey soon, which has given the US a “firm commitment” not to attack the totemic Kurdish-majority town of Kobani, which in 2015 fended off an attack by Isis jihadis.

Washington came under sharp criticism after ordering the U.S. troops withdrawn from the northern border area, opening the door to the Turkish’s incursion.

More than 100,000 people have fled their homes since the offensive began.

A Turkish soldier was also killed and three soldiers were wounded in the heavy clashes between Turkish forces and the SDF, Turkey’s Defence Ministry said.

Dozens of fighters from the SDF and pro-Turkish factions have also been killed.

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