Trump OK’s Sanctions on Turkey

Global Research, October 15, 2019

Trump, House and Senate officials threatened sanctions on Turkey for its cross-border offensive in Syria.

On Monday, Trump OK’d their imposition by the US Treasury — despite green lighting Turkish aggression before launched, withdrawing US troops from northeast Syrian areas Ankara is attacking.

Separately, his UN envoy vetoed a Security Council resolution and rejected a next-day statement, condemning Turkish aggression.

He betrayed Kurdish YPG fighters — used by the Pentagon and CIA as proxy foot soldiers against Damascus.

Now they’re allying with government forces to try preventing Turkish troops from seizing more Syrian territory in areas bordering both countries.

Erdogan wants as much as he can control, notably Syrian oil-producing areas he long coveted.

Most likely, Kurdish fighters will be integrated into the Syrian Arab Army against the common Turkish foe, Damascus gaining control over US heavy weapons and equipment supplied them.

Pentagon, UK, and French forces in northern Syria, along with private military contractors (PMCs), are being moved to neighboring Iraqi and perhaps Jordanian areas bordering Syria.

Overall, the US is increasing its regional military footprint by deploying thousands of troops and heavy weapons to Saudi Arabia, elevating the risk of further hostilities in a part of the world already boiling from US aggression in multiple theaters.

Congressional sanctions were threatened on Turkey, not imposed so far. Rhetoric isn’t policy.

Trump said he’ll “soon be issuing an Executive Order authorizing the imposition of sanctions against current and former officials of the Government of Turkey and any persons contributing to Turkey’s destabilizing actions in northeast Syria.” More below on his Monday remarks.

On the same day, the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on Turkey’s war and energy and natural resources ministries, including their leadership.

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said further sanctions may follow “as necessary.” Secondary sanctions may be imposed on “persons that engage in certain transactions with persons designated today.”

“(A)ny foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates any significant financial transactions for or on behalf of the persons designated today could be subject to US correspondent or payable through account sanctions.”

“(T)oday’s action does not (intend to) disrupt Turkey’s ability to meet its energy needs.”

Assets and property of sanctioned Turkish officials in the US, if any, are “blocked.”

Trump ordered tariffs on Turkish steel imports raised to 50%, their level last spring before reducing them, a slap on the wrist action.

He’s suspending talks with Ankara on a “$100 billion dollar trade deal” — a temporary measure unless the bilateral breach widens further.

He accused Turkey of “serious human rights abuses, obstructing a ceasefire, preventing displaced persons from returning home, forcibly repatriating refugees, or threatening the peace, security, or stability in Syria.”

He ignored these and countless other hostile US actions against the Syrian Arab Republic — launched by Obama, escalated on DJT’s watch.

Notably they include mass slaughter and destruction in Raqqa, terror-bombing vital infrastructure, causing hundreds of thousands of Syrian deaths since 2011, the severest refugee crisis since WW II, and other high crimes of war and against humanity.

Turkish aggression in northern Syria is minor by comparison to the US rape and destruction of one country after another in the Middle East and elsewhere.

All forms of aggression are the highest of high crimes, far exceeding others — especially when entire populations of targeted countries are affected, notably in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, along with all-out US economic terrorism against Iran and Venezuela, war by other means.

Trump falsely claimed he’s “worked tirelessly to preserve the safety and security of the United States and its citizens.” Endless US wars with more likely threaten everyone everywhere.

He turned truth on its head, claiming the US and allies “liberated 100 percent of ISIS’ ruthless territorial caliphate.”

He’s a geopolitical know-nothing, aware only of what his handlers tell him and Fox News rubbish, his favorite TV channel.

He may not know that the US created ISIS, al-Qaeda, its al-Nusra offshoot, and likeminded jihadist groups, using them as imperial foot soldiers, training them on Pentagon bases, arming, funding and directing them, the CIA involved in what’s going on.

Saying “Turkey must…prioritize the protection of civilians” ignores their rape and slaughter by US, NATO, and Israeli forces in all their wars of aggression.

His other high-minded rhetoric belies US-led Western/Israeli contempt for ordinary people domestically and abroad.

Turkish aggression isn’t “precipitating a humanitarian crisis” in Syria. It’s escalating what the Obama regime began, continued by Trump.

Nor will Ankara’s actions facilitate an ISIS resurgence, what the US has full control over, their fighters used where the Pentagon and CIA want them deployed.

Trump said US forces withdrawn from northern Syria will “remain in the region,” including in southern Syrian territory bordering Iraq and Jordan.

“I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path,” he roared — what he clearly won’t do short of a rupture in bilateral relations, possible ahead, but hasn’t occurred.

The Trump regime has done more to encourage Turkish aggression than oppose it.

Betraying Kurdish YPG fighters is further proof US ruling authorities can never be trusted — time and again abandoning allies to other priorities.


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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Visit his blog site at

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