US President Donald Trump is to authorize wide-ranging sanctions aimed at dissuading Turkey from further offensive military action in northeastern Syria, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday.
Van Hollen said the sanctions would be placed on USA assets of senior Turkish government officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as prohibit all US military business and transactions with Turkey and activate the 2017 Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) on Turkey.
Turkey's Foreign Ministry said late on Friday that Turkey would retaliate to any steps against its efforts to fight terrorism, in response to the announcement of possible USA sanctions against the country, after it launched an offensive in Syria. "We hope we don't have to use them", he said.
"We are putting financial institutions on notice that there could be sanctions later on Turkey".More news: CNN Anchor Chris Cuomo Apologizes for LGBTQ Town Hall Remark
Representatives Eliot Engel, the Democratic chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, and Mike McCaul, the committee's ranking Republican, introduced a bill that would sanction Turkish officials involved in the Syria operation and banks involved with Turkey's defense sector until Turkey ends military operations in Syria.
News of the potential sanctions, which could be used to target any part of the Turkish government or any person associated with it, fell flat.
Turkey began the offensive quickly, pounding Kurdish militias, who had spent many months fighting alongside US forces against Islamic State militants.
Trump issued a similar aggressive threat against the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally on Monday.More news: Jane Fonda Arrested While Protesting in Washington D.C.
"At this point, we are not activating the sanctions", he added.
"Now there are threats coming from left and right, telling us to stop this", he said. And on Friday, the group reported that five ISIS members had escaped from a prison after Turkish mortar rounds landed nearby.
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. Mr. Trump had told the Turkish president that American troops fighting alongside the Kurds in a countermission against the Islamic State would be pulled back from the border with Syria, which critics of the president's policy said was, in effect, giving the Turks a greenlight to start their offensive.More news: Pentagon says United States not abandoning Kurds