The president of the United States, Donald Trump, ordered his team to prepare “significant” sanctions against the Government of Turkey on Friday for his offensive in Syria, while his government demanded that Ankara “not let a single person escape from the Islamic State (ISIS) , for its acronym in English) "captive in the area.
Although the sanctions will not be activated immediately, they have the power to "paralyze the Turkish economy," US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in announcing Trump's decision at a press conference. “These are very powerful sanctions. We hope we don't have to use them, ”Mnuchin added.
Almost simultaneously, the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Turkey "will not suspend" its current operation in Syria against a Kurdish militia supported by the West, and rejected all "threats" in this regard.RELATED
"No matter what some say, we will not stop this" operation against the People's Protection Units (YPG) in northeastern Syria. He added: "We receive threats to the right and left, telling us to stop."
“We will not go back. We will continue this fight until all the terrorists move to the south of the 32-kilometer border of our border that (US President Donald) Trump mentioned, ”he explained. The official objective of the Turkish offensive is to establish a security zone south of its border with Syria.
On the third day of the offensive, Turkish forces deepened attacks against Syrian Kurds, which have caused a new mass displacement of civilians and that the international community has criticized harshly.
According to a statement from the United Nations (UN) issued on Friday, the offensive has already caused the flight of some "100,000 people (who) have left their homes." In addition to the exodus of civilians, the UN warned that they have already begun to emerge other humanitarian consequences, such as the failure of a water pumping station that supplies 400,000 people in the city of Hasaké and in the surrounding areas.
There were also reports of several deaths on both sides; and on Friday Turkey acknowledged its first military casualty by reporting that a soldier was a "martyr" in the fighting. Previously, at least six civilians died in Turkey and seven in Syria since Ankara began the operation in the Syrian northeast with air and land incursions.
In Syria, the scenes of the crowds fleeing with their belongings in cars, trucks, motorcycles or directly on foot were similar to those of some years ago, when people fled from Islamic State militiamen (ISIS) ).
On Friday morning, thick columns of black smoke rose from the Syrian town of Tal Abyad, near the border, while Turkey continued the bombing.
The Turkish ministry said in a statement that one of its soldiers died and three were injured. Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said 342 "terrorists" died, as Ankara calls the militiamen, although that data was not verified.
With information from AFP and AP