After Turkey launched several attacks against Syria over the weekend, several members of Congress have voiced bipartisan support for launching sanctions against Turkey.
Over the weekend, Trump first mentioned the sanctions threat at the Values Voter Summit.
“I have made clear to Turkey that if they do not meet their commitments, including the protection of religious minorities … we will impose very swift, strong, and severe economic sanctions,” Trump said, according to the Washington Examiner.
After the President announced last week the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria, many leaders across the political spectrum believed the move would endanger Christians and other religious minorities in the country. Turkey has launched several attacks on northern Syria since the removal, prompting Christian villages to evacuate and American leaders to grow concerned.
On Monday, Newsweek reported that after the President’s promise over the weekend, Senator Lindsey Graham, who initially voiced his disapproval over the President’s decision, said on Fox and Friends that the President will respond to Turkey’s attacks in Northern Syria.
“I blame Turkey,” he said. “There is going to be crippling sanctions imposed by the Congress to supplement what President Trump’s administration has done. We are going to send a signal to Turkey that is unmistakable in the eyes of Erdogan and the world and we’re going to break his economy until he stops the bloodshed.”
He later tweeted about his meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who agreed with the Senator on the sanctions.
“I will be working across party lines in a bicameral fashion to draft sanctions and move quickly, appreciating President Trump’s willingness to work with the Congress. The Speaker indicated to me that time was of the essence,” he said.
“With one clear voice, the United States of America condemns the persecution of Christians, and we pledge our support to Christian communities everywhere suffering under the brutal heel of oppression and violence,” the President said at the summit.
According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, America could “shut down the Turkish economy” if religious minorities were not protected.
The Trump administration also routed $50 million last week to aid religious minorities, including Christians, in Syria.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Win McNamee/Staff
Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine. She blogs at mikaelamathews.com.