Carper, Coons introduce bill to levy serious sanctions on Turkey

U.S. Senators Tom Carper (left) & Chris Coons (right)

Delaware’s U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons are moving forward with legislation to issue serious sanctions on Turkey following their invasion of northeastern Syria and attack on the Kurds.

Alongside a bipartisan group of Senators, Carper and Coons introduced the Countering Turkish Aggression Act of 2019, which would levy immediate, serious sanctions against Turkey.

The legislation would apply new sanctions to senior Turkish officials, including President Erdogan, key Turkish banks, military transactions, and their energy sector activities in support of the Turkish Armed Forces.

“President Trump’s foolish decision to abruptly pull U.S. troops out of Syria and leave our Kurdish allies open to predictable invasion and slaughter by Turkey has resulted in a humanitarian crisis, paved the way for the reemergence of ISIS and emboldened our adversaries like Assad and Putin,” said Senator Carper. “The Administration’s approach to Syria not only threatens security in the region, but here at home.”

Sen. Carper said he believes that sanctions on President Erdogan of Turkey are long overdue, but that sanctions alone would not reverse the “self-inflicted atrocities we are watching unfold in Syria as a result of President Trump’s disastrous policy.”

“The President’s decision to abandon the Kurds who bravely fought ISIS on our behalf is a stain on America’s reputation around the world, but we also cannot ignore the actions of Turkey and President Erdogan to further de-stabilize Syria and the entire Middle East,” said Senator Coons. “The President has shown his lack of understanding of the Middle East, and his policies swing back and forth with little logic or reasoning. That’s why Republicans and Democrats in the Senate are stepping up to constrain the president’s recklessness and levy sanctions against Turkey to punish Erdogan for his abuses. Hopefully, this will make other dictators think twice before calling President Trump and asking him to do their bidding.”

The bill prohibits U.S. military assistance to Turkey, would bar President Erdogan and Turkish leadership from visiting the United States, and require reports on the net worth and assets of Mr. Erdogan amid concerns of corruption.

“This bill would also reassert appropriate Congressional oversight of U.S. policy toward Turkey by requiring reimposition of sanctions if hostilities restart in the region, or in the event that the President’s hastily negotiated ‘cease-fire’ does not hold,” Sen. Carper said. “I am encouraged by the bipartisan support for this bill and will continue working alongside my colleagues to push President Trump to reverse his harmful decision and fix the mess he has created.”

News broke on Thursday of a cease-fire between Turkey and Syria following a U.S. delegation visit to Turkey that included Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.