Trump Announces Sanctions on Turkey

AP News
October 14, 2019 - 1:54 pm

AP

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President Donald Trump says the roughly 1,000 U.S. troops he has ordered to leave Syria will remain in the Middle East to prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State threat.

In a written statement Monday announcing his authorization of economic sanctions on Turkey, Trump made clear that the withdrawing troops will leave Syria entirely.

He said the troops will "redeploy and remain in the region." He described their mission as "monitoring the situation" and preventing a "repeat of 2014," when IS fighters who had organized in Syria as a fighting force swept into neighboring Iraq and took control of Iraq's north and west.

Trump confirmed that the small number of U.S. troops at a base in southern Syria will remain there.

President Donald Trump says he's issuing new sanctions against Turkey, halting trade negotiations and raising steel tariffs in an effort to pressure Ankara to stop its ongoing offensive attack in Syria against Kurdish forces it views as a terrorist threat.

Trump says he soon will sign an executive order permitting sanctions to be imposed on current and former Turkish officials.

Before the invasion, Trump ordered a couple dozen U.S. forces out of harm's way. Critics said Trump's decision gave Turkey a green light to go against the Kurds, who had helped the U.S. battle Islamic State militants.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham says he'll meet with President Donald Trump on Monday and plans to discuss sanctions against Turkey over its invasion into Syria.

The South Carolina senator last week was critical of Trump's announcement about removing U.S. troops from Syria. On Monday, Graham blamed Turkey for the turmoil in Syria, saying Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH'-jehp TY'-ihp UR'-doh-wahn) "made the biggest mistake of his political life" and "brought this on himself."

Graham tells Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends" there will be "crippling sanctions" from Congress that will "break" Turkey's economy and "crush Erdogan until he stops the bloodshed." Graham says Republicans, Democrats and the Trump administration will hit Erdogan "like a ton of bricks."

Syrian Kurdish forces previously aligned with the U.S. say they've reached a deal with Syrian President Bashar Assad to help fend off Turkey's invasion.

Graham says the alliance between the Kurds and Assad is "not good" for the United States. He says "Assad equals Iran" and "The last thing you want to do is to let Iran become more powerful in northeastern Syria."

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