President Trump announced plans to impose economic sanctions on the government of Turkey Monday afternoon as President Recep Erdogan continues his military invasion into northern Syria. He also announced a change in U.S. troop levels inside the country.
"I will soon be issuing an Executive Order authorizing the imposition of sanctions against current and former officials of the Government of Turkey and any persons contributing to Turkey's destabilizing actions in northeast Syria," he tweeted Monday afternoon. "The Order will enable the United State to impose powerful additional sanctions on those who may be involved in serious human rights abuses, obstructing a ceasefire, preventing displaced persons from returning home, forcibly repatriating refugees, or threatening the peace, security, or stability in Syria. The Order will authorize a broad range of consequences, including financial sanctions, the blocking of property, and barring entry into the United States."
"Since my first day in office, the Trump Administration has worked tirelessly to preserve the safety and security of the United States and its citizens. The United States and our partners have liberated 100 percent of ISIS's ruthless territorial caliphate. Turkey must not put these gains in jeopardy. Turkey must also prioritize the protection of civilians, particularly vulnerable ethnic and religious minorities in northeast Syria. Indiscriminate targeting of civilians, destruction of civilian infrastructure and targeting of ethnic and religious minorities is unacceptable," Trump continued. "Turkey's military offensive is endangering civilians and threatening peace, security and stability in the region. I have been perfectly clear with President Erdogan: Turkey's action is precipitating a humanitarian crisis and setting conditions for possible war crimes."
"The United States will aggressively use economic sanctions to target those who enable, facilitate, and finance these heinous acts in Syria. I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path," he said.
Statement from President Donald J. Trump Regarding Turkey’s Actions in Northeast Syria pic.twitter.com/ZCQC7nzmME— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2019
President Trump reversed course on pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria and will redeploy U.S. troops formerly in northeast Syria to the south.
"As I have said, I am withdrawing the remaining United States service members from northeast Syria. As United States forces have defeated the ISIS physical caliphate, United States troops coming out of Syria will now redeploy and remain in the region to monitor the situation and prevent a repeat of 2014, when the neglected threat of ISIS raged across Syria and Iraq. A small footprint of United States forces will remain at At Tanf Garrison in southern Syria to continue to disrupt remnants of ISIS," he said.
The November meeting with Erdogan at the White House is still on the schedule.