Source of controversy: Can the US impose sanctions against Turkey due to military operation in Syria

Source of controversy: Can the US impose sanctions against Turkey due to military operation in Syria

US senators Lindsay Graham and Chris Van Hollen are working on a bill to impose sanctions on Turkey for its military operation, Source of Peace, in northern Syria. It is assumed that restrictive measures will affect the Turkish leadership, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as companies, including foreign ones, which cooperate with the armed forces of the republic. In addition, according to the document, Ankara will be imposed sanctions for the purchase of Russian air defense systems S – 400. However, according to experts, Washington is unlikely to take such a step with respect to the NATO ally, who has the second largest army in the alliance.

US Congress Senators Democrat Chris Van Hollen and Republican Lindsay Graham announced work on a bill on sanctions against Turkey. His goal is to punish Ankara forthe military operation“Source of Peace” in northern Syria against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDS), which includes Kurdish forces that Turkey considers terrorist.

However, the sanctions provided for in the bill are designed not only to protect Washington’s Kurdish allies, but also to prevent the deepeningof military-technical cooperationof Moscow and Ankara and be a response to Turkey’s supply of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems C – 29.

The document implies the recognition of the purchase by Ankara S – 35 violation of the CAATSA law (“On Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions.” –RT) and imposing appropriate sanctions.

The initiators of the bill suggest identifying and arresting assets of the Turkish leadership in the United States, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In addition, senators consider it necessary to impose sanctions against companies, including foreign ones, which are doing business with the Turkish army.

“These sanctions will have immediate long-lasting consequences for Erdogan and the armed forces of his country,” Chris Van Hollen wrote on Twitter.

Today@ LindseyGrahamSCand I are announcing a framework for sanctions against Turkey to respond to their military operation in northeastern Syria, which is already underway. These sanctions will have immediate, far-reaching consequences for Erdogan and his military.pic.twitter.com/VhzaDB2OYU

— Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen)October 9 2014).

At the same time, both authors of the bill categorically condemn the withdrawal of American troops from the north-east of Syria on the eve of the Turkish military operation there and the US refusal to support the SDS. They fear that Turkey, taking advantage of Washington’s connivance, will destroy Kurdish militias.

“Trump likes to say that he defeated ISIS *. Not true. These are our troops, in cooperation with the Syrian Kurds, have made significant progress, but we still have much to do. ISIS celebrates Trump’s betrayal, ”writes Van Hollen.

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Lindsay Graham, in turn, declared support for the SDS in their conflict with Turkey and directly accused the American president of his actions play into the hands of extremists.

“Pray for our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump administration. This step guarantees the revival of ISIS, ”-stated

the senator and urged the president to“ change course, while there’s time . ”

It is worth noting that Graham is one of the most consistent critics of the current American leader. He actively opposed the nomination of Trump as a candidate from the Republican Party in the presidential election 2014 of the year. And now Graham has a negative attitude towards the policy of the head of state.

According to Van Hollen, the bill will be introduced in the near future.

“We will ask you to immediately vote on it in order to make clear to Turkey that it must cease hostilities and continue to abstain from them, withdraw the military contingent from the combat zone and put an end to the tragic loss of human lives”, – emphasized the senator.

The fate of the bill

    Experts note that the legislative initiative of Graham and Van Hollen reflects the sentiments that are widespread among congressmen from both the Republican and the Democratic Party of the United States. Trump’s foreign policy is actively criticized, and his decision not to impede the Turkish operation in the Kurdish regions of Syria causes serious discontent among those and others, said Yuri Rogulev, director of the Franklin Roosevelt United States Study Foundation at Moscow State University, in an interview with RT.

  •                                 Senator Chris Van Hollen                                                             © Joshua Roberts / Reuters                             
  • “One of the houses of Congress may well approve the bill of Graham and Van Hollen. Democrats will vote to annoy Trump and present him in the eyes of voters as an incompetent leader who betrays the allies and does not keep his word. Republicans – to correct, as many of them think, Trump’s wrong foreign policy. Everything can be. Still, next year’s presidential election, and the political struggle escalates. But you should not forget that the adoption of the law requires the consent of not one, but two houses, ”the expert recalled.

    Nevertheless, according to Rogulev, the congressmen will “think twice” before actually imposing sanctions on Turkey.

    “This country is too important. Turkey has the largest combat-ready army in NATO after the United States. She has military bases that are used by the United States. I think that with all mutual frictions Washington will not risk allied relations with Ankara, ”Rogulev believes.

    The expert suggested that the adoption the bill is simply dragged out, and then, when Operation Source of Peace is over, it will lose relevance and be forgotten.

    At the same time, even if the bill is passed and it happens quickly enough, it is unlikely that it will achieve its stated goals, analysts say.

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    Senior researcher at the Center for Euro-Atlantic Security Yulia Kudryashova is confident that Turkey will not abandon the operation against the Kurds, even if faced with pressure Washington.

    “But at the same time it is clear that this operation will be limited. In addition to the United States, there are also Russia and Iran in Syria, not to mention the European members of NATO. Turkey has to act with an eye on all these key players for the situation in the region. Ankara will try not to annoy them, so the “Source of Peace” will be quite formal. A series of strikes will be delivered to the SDS, but, of course, there can be no talk of completely eliminating this formation, ”the expert predicts in an interview with RT. , Kudryashova believes. According to the expert, Ankara’s main goal is not to destroy the SDS, but to destabilize the Kurdish regions and create the feeling that they are in constant danger. So Erdogan seeks to prevent the creation of Kurdish autonomy in northern Syria.

    “This is Turkey’s main goal. Ankara fears that the emergence of Kurdish autonomy in Syria will strengthen separatist sentiments among Turkish Kurds, ”the expert believes.

    Contracts for C – 400 will not be ripped off

      At the same time, according to Kudryashova, US senators will not be able to interfere with Russian-Turkish cooperation.

      “With the help of sanctions, the Americans, of course, could try to disrupt the C deal – 400. But the supply of these anti-aircraft missile systems to Turkey has already begun. Of course, the United States can punish Ankara after the fact, but what is the point of such a punishment? From C – 13 Turkey will not refuse ”, – considers Kudryashova.

    •                                 Donald Trump and Recep Erdogan                                                             © Tatyana Zenkovich / Pool via REUTERS                             
    • The introduction of restrictive measures against Turkey for cooperation with Russia may lead to a paradoxical result for Graham and Van Hollen: Moscow and Ankara on the contrary, they’re even closer, analysts believe.

      Rogulyov draws attention to the fact that 13 Recep Tayyip Erdogan will arrive in the United States on November – negotiations with Trump are coming, including regarding the purchase of American F aircraft – 13.

      “Adoption of the sanctions law before this visit of course n dstavilo to the American president, and would change the whole character of the negotiations “, – believes Rogulov

      If the legislative initiative of Graham and Van Hollen is approved, the Turkish president will face an unusual situation for themselves, said Kudryashov..

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      “Erdogan remembers that Trump has repeatedly threatened Turkey with sanctions and for her actions in Syria, and for its relations with Russia, and for its position on C – 35. But only threatened. In fact, Trump was looking for some opportunities to bring Turkey back into the mainstream of cooperation with the United States. If the USA really imposes sanctions, Erdogan will have to answer, ”the expert says.

      Kudryashova believes that the Turkish president, given his character, will never change his policy and will not succumb to pressure. But economic cooperation with the United States due to sanctions will have to be largely curtailed.

      “But Turkey needs partners for joint projects, foreign investments are needed. Where to turn for them if the United States turns its back on Ankara? Only to Russia and China, ”concluded Kudryashova.

      * Islamic State (ISIS, ISIS) – the organization was recognized as terrorist by decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation from 12. (*********************************************). (***************************************.)