Trump sanctions Turkey for the Syria invasion his troop withdrawal allowed thumbnail

Trump sanctions Turkey for the Syria invasion his troop withdrawal allowed

President Donald Trump has sanctioned Turkey for its Syria invasion, a little more than a week after appearing to give Ankara the go-ahead to launch its long-planned operation.
Trump issued an executive order on Monday that imposed penalties on three Turkish officials and two ministries for their role in the incursion into Syria. The president also announced in a statement Monday that he was reimposing steel tariffs of 50 percent on Turkey and would halt trade negotiations with the country immediately.
“Turkey’s military offensive is endangering civilians and threatening peace, security, and stability in the region,” Trump said in a statement. “I have been perfectly clear with President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan: Turkey’s action is precipitating a humanitarian crisis and setting conditions for possible war crimes.”
Turkey began its assault in northern Syria last week, after the United States withdrew its troops from Kurdish-held areas close to the Turkish border. The Trump administration said it did not approve or endorse the operation, but the removal of US forces gave Turkey the opportunity to press into Syria. It’s something Turkish President Erdogan has been eager to do in order to push back the Kurdish militias he sees as an existential threat, and to establish a “safe zone” to resettle millions of Syrian refugees who fled to Turkey throughout the civil war.
The US’s decision to relocate those troops was met with immediate condemnation, as both Republicans and Democrats saw the Trump administration as abandoning the Syrian Kurds, America’s most effective partner in fighting ISIS and defeating its territorial caliphate. And, as Turkey moved deeper into Syria, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced Sunday that the remaining 1,000 troops in northeastern Syria would withdraw, leaving the Kurds totally on their own and creating a potential security vacuum.
Trump’s executive order, then, comes after the situation on the ground in Syria has changed dramatically — and after Turkey’s invasion has already displaced tens of thousands of civilians, prompted the escape of ISIS detainees, and forced the Kurds to cut a deal with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, rearranging alliances within Syr
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