The US has imposed sanctions against the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of the energy of Turkey in connection with the situation in Syria. The decree signed by the President of the United States Donald Trump allows further to impose additional sanctions.
The sanctions also hit Defense Minister, former commander of the General staff of Turkey Hulusi Akar, Energy Minister Fatih Donmez, and Deputy Chairman of the Ruling justice and development party Suleiman Soylu.
US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said that the purpose of the sanctions is to force Turkey to stop immediately the offensive in Syria and return to dialogue with the US. Otherwise, he threatened Ankara with new sanctions.
Earlier, Trump, announcing the sanctions, tweeted that he would order a halt to trade talks with Turkey and return 50 percent duties on steel imports, reduced in May to 25%.
“I will soon sign a decree authorizing sanctions against current and former officials from the Turkish leadership, as well as against any people destabilizing the situation in the North-East of Syria. I am ready to destroy Turkey’s economy without delay if Turkish leaders continue on this dangerous and destructive road,” Trump wrote.
The Turkish military operation against Kurdish groups in Northern Syria began last week.
The Kurds until recently were allies of the United States in the fight against the jihadist group “Islamic state.” But late last week, Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops from Syria. The American establishment criticized the decision, and the Kurds called it a “stab in the back.”
Trump himself made it clear, on the one hand, that he would not interfere with the Turkish operation and that the US military would neither participate nor in any way help the Kurds in Syria. On the other hand, Trump threatened to destroy Turkey’s economy if Ankara did something that the American President would not like.