US Treasury Secretary: 'We can shut down the Turkish economy'

Cheryl Sanders
October 12, 2019

US President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Friday (Oct 11) authorising sanctions against Turkish government officials and entities if Turkey's incursion in Syria results in human rights violations, destabilises the region, or leads to the escape of a "single ISIS fighter", the Treasury Department announced.

President Donald Trump is trying to get ahead of a bipartisan effort in Congress to sanction Turkey after his order to withdraw USA troops from the northeast Syrian border paved the way for Ankara's offensive against the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units.

Mr. Mnuchin said that banks should be on notice for potential sanctions actions by the United States.

"I'm not seeing any indication or warnings of any planned stoppage of their military activity", said Milley, the top USA military officer.

Mr. Trump has said he is watching developments closely and will "ruin" the Turkish economy if their military goes too far.

A senior State Department official said sanctions likely would be similar to economic penalties that were imposed in 2018 against the Turkish justice minister and interior minister.

Lawmakers of both parties have questioned whether Trump gave Turkey a "green light", and called on him to press Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to stop the operation.

The move comes as Trump has defended his decision to pull back some United States forces in northern Syria, which cleared the way for Turkey to send its forces into the country and attack American-allied Kurdish militias.

A war monitor said the death toll approached 100 from the first days of the assault, which began on Wednesday.

The SDF now holds most of the territory that once made up the ISIL group's "caliphate" in Syria, and has been keeping thousands of ISIL fighters in jail and tens of thousands of their family members in camps.

"I'm not seeing any indication or warnings of any planned stoppage of their military activity", said Milley, the top US military officer.

"We, the USA military, have no responsibility to ... secure those ISIS prisoners in Syria", Milley said.

"The Turkish military is fully aware - down to explicit grid coordinate detail - of the locations of US forces", he said.

Other reports by iNewsToday