Last Tuesday the House passed legislation with new sanctions on Turkey in a bipartisan 403-16 vote, with 176 Republicans voting in support and just 15 opposing the bill.
The bill ban arms sales to Turkey and sanction foreigners providing arms to Turkish forces in Syria, imposes financial and visa penalties on Turkish officials connected to Turkey’s offensive in Syria, including the defense minister, the chief of the general staff of the Turkish armed forces and the finance minister, as well as sanction the state-owned bank Halkbank. It also seeks to force the administration to impose the previously mandated sanctions for Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 Russian missile defense system.
The vote comes weeks after the pulled of U.S. troops from Kurdish Controlled northern Syria, paving the way for the barbaric Turkish military invasion. The invasion and the Pull-out of Syria sparked bipartisan backlash on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers warned it would endanger U.S Kurdish allies in Syria.
Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the Senate Majority Leader, hit a cautionary note about the prospect of passing new sanctions on Turkey, days after a bill easily passed the House.
The Senate Majority Leader speaking from the Senate floor, urged senators to “carefully examine” if a broad sanctions bill “is really the best solution.”, and he added:
“We should think carefully about what specific effect we want sanctions to have, how Turkey will respond to them and how Russia and others may explore growing tensions between Washington and Ankara. We should seek a better understanding of the specific economic impact that broad sanctions also have. … Will sanctions rally them to our cause or to [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan’s? Will more targeted sanctions perhaps avoid some of these unintended consequences? These are just some of the critical questions with which I hope our committees of jurisdiction and the administration are able to examine before we act.”
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