US President Donald Trump on Monday (local time) signed an executive order authorising the Department of Treasury and the Department of State to consider and impose sanctions on individuals, entities, or associates of the Government of Turkey involved in actions that endanger civilians or lead to further deterioration of peace, security, and stability in northeast Syria.
Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo in a statement said, "Three senior Turkish officials, the Ministry of Energy, and the Ministry of Defense have been designated for sanctions under these authorities, concurrent with the signing of the Executive Order."
The moves comes in response to Turkey's military incursions in Northern Syria. Ankara's offensive has been condemned by the international community.
Stressing that Turkey's actions in northeast Syria severely undermine the D-ISIS campaign, endanger civilians, and threaten the security of the entire region, Pompeo said if Turkey's operation continues, it will exacerbate a growing and daunting humanitarian crisis, with potentially disastrous consequences.
"To avoid suffering further sanctions imposed under this new Executive Order Turkey must immediately cease its unilateral offensive in northeast Syria and return to a dialogue with the United States on security in northeast Syria," he said.
Earlier, President Trump had announced that he will soon be issuing an Executive Order authorising the imposition of sanctions against current and former officials of the Government of Turkey and any persons contributing to Turkey's destabilising actions in northeast Syria.
"Likewise, the steel tariffs will be increased back up to 50 per cent, the level prior to reduction in May. The United States will also immediately stop negotiations, being led by the Department of Commerce, with respect to a $100 billion trade deal with Turkey," the US President said in his statement.
Trump said since his first day in office, his 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 per cent 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," he said.
Claiming that Turkey's military offensive is endangering civilians and threatening peace, security, and stability in the region, the US President said, " Indiscriminate targeting of civilians, destruction of civilian infrastructure, and targeting of ethnic or religious minorities is unacceptable. Additionally, the return of refugees must be conducted in a safe, voluntary, and dignified manner."
"I have been perfectly clear with President Erdogan: Turkey's action is precipitating a humanitarian crisis and setting conditions for possible war crimes. Turkey must ensure the safety of civilians, including religious and ethnic minorities, and is now, or may be in the future, responsible for the ongoing detention of ISIS terrorists in the region. Unfortunately, Turkey does not appear to be mitigating the humanitarian effects of its invasion," he added.
Trump said 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.
"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. (ANI)