The chairman and rankingRepublican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, respectively, said Friday they will introduce legislation to slap sanctions on Turkey in response toits offensive against Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria.
The bipartisan bill would sanction officials involved in Ankaras offensive and banks involved in the defense sector until Turkey ends its military operations in Syria.
The legislation would also mandate the White House to put additional sanctions on Turkey for its purchase of Russian made S-400 missile systems and prohibit American arms exports to the Turkish military, among other things.
I strongly condemn both President Erdoans decision to attack Americas partners in Syria and President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutors investigating Giuliani: report House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman and top Republican to introduce sanctions bill against Turkey Trump lashes out at 2020 Dems, impeachment inquiry MOREs decision to step back and let it happen. The Turkish assault on the Syrian Kurds is a gift to Russia, Iran, and ISIS, and a blow to our national security interests, said Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelHouse Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman and top Republican to introduce sanctions bill against Turkey Cracks emerge in White House strategy as witness testifies Overnight Defense: Pentagon insists US hasn't abandoned Kurds | Trump expands sanctions authority against Turkey | Ex-Ukraine ambassador says Trump pushed for her ouster MORE (D-N.Y.).
Turkeys military operation has already resulted in civilian casualties and threatens global security by creating conditions that will enable an ISIS resurgence. It must stop its incursion immediately, added ranking Republican Rep. Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulHouse Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman and top Republican to introduce sanctions bill against Turkey Hillicon Valley: Senate passes bill to boost cyber help for agencies, businesses | Watchdog warns Energy Department failing to protect grid | FTC sues Match for allegedly conning users Senate approves bill to boost cyber assistance for federal agencies, private sector MORE (R-Texas). The purpose of our bill is simple: it compels those individuals and institutions in Turkey that are carrying out this deadly and counterproductive offensive to withdraw.
The Turkish operation has drawn harsh rebukes from lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who warn that the offensive is meant to eliminate Kurdish forces that allied with the U.S. in the fight against ISIS. Ankara has accused the groups of being linked to an anti-Turkish insurgency.
Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHouse Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman and top Republican to introduce sanctions bill against Turkey US troops in Syria come under Turkish artillery fire Trump to meet Italian president at White House next week MORE (R-S.C.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenHouse Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman and top Republican to introduce sanctions bill against Turkey On The Money: Trump announces limited trade deal with China | Appeals court rules against Trump over financial records | Trump expands authority to sanction Turkey Democrats urge Rick Perry not to roll back lightbulb efficiency rules MORE (D-Md.) announced earlier this week that they too have reached an agreement on new sanctions against Turkey that would target any assets of Turkish leadership, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoan, within U.S. jurisdiction.
The Senate bill would also take aim at Turkey's energy sector and military, including sanctions against "any foreign person who sells or provides financial, material, or technological support or knowingly does a transaction with Turkish military."
Underscoring the tensions between the U.S. and Turkey over the operation, the Pentagon announced Friday that Special Forces troops stationed in Syria came under artillery fire from Turkey. No troops were injured, but the Pentagon warned Turkey of any actions that could result in immediate defensive action.
Trump is facing bipartisan rebukes in Washington over his decision to remove U.S. troops from northeastern Syria ahead of the Turkish operation, which lawmakers and analysts said removed the chief deterrent for the offensive.
Graham, typically a staunch Trump ally and defense hawk, said the decision is a disaster in the making that ensures [an] ISIS comeback and will be a stain on Americas honor for abandoning the Kurds.
Trump dismissed Grahams concerns this week and indicated that he would be open to backing additional sanctions.
I think Lindsey would like to stay there for the next 200 years and maybe add a couple a hundred of thousand people every place, but I disagree with Lindsey on that, Trump told reporters at the White House Wednesday. But I will tell you that I do agree on sanctions, but I actually think much tougher than sanctions if [Erdoan] doesnt do it in as humane a way as possible.