Hours after Turkish planes began bombing Kurdish militia targets in northern Syria, Donald Trump has said that "the United States does not support this attack and has made it clear to Turkey that this operation is a bad idea." In a statement, the president has confirmed that "there are no more US soldiers in the area" attacked and has insisted that he does not want to participate in "these endless and pointless wars, especially those that do not benefit the United States." Trump's decision to abandon Kurdish fighters, Washington's valuable allies in their fight against the Islamic State, has caused a fierce rejection at home, and has opened an unprecedented fracture between the president and his party, getting Several Republican leaders uncheck their actions. Lindsey Graham, president of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Trump's loyal ally, announced Wednesday afternoon a bill drafted with Democrats to sanction Turkey.
Graham, after asking his Twitter followers "to pray for Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump Administration," has announced the initiative signed in conjunction with Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen. The influential Republican senator said "although the (Trump) Administration refuses to act against Turkey, ”hopes to get“ strong support ”from both parties in Congress. The proposed legislation consists of a battery of sanctions against Turkey for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to "pay a high price" for the offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria.
The sanctions include the freezing of assets that the Turkish president has in the US, such as that of several of his ministers. Also "visa restriction" for Turkish leaders traveling to Washington. In addition, the bipartisan initiative includes restrictive measures against Turkey's energy sector and prohibits the sale of US supplies such as ammunition, services and technology to the Turkish Armed Forces. “The United States is better than this. Please face Turkey, Mr. President, ”Graham wrote on his Twitter account, who until now had been a great defender of the president.
In a tweet launched early, Trump defended that "the United States should never have gone to the Middle East" nor should it get into "stupid endless wars." "Going to the Middle East is the worst decision ever made in the history of our country," he added, "and now we are slowly and carefully bringing our great soldiers home." The president said that he continues to "closely monitor the situation" and that he expects Erdogan to "fulfill his commitments." "Turkey has pledged to protect civilians, to protect religious minorities, including Christians, and to ensure that a humanitarian crisis does not occur," he explained.
Underlining that the president’s position clashes with the strategy followed by the Pentagon for decades, the US-led military coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS) published a press release on Wednesday defends that "withdrawing" combatants and weapons from ISIS "remains a high priority." The group, they say, continues to organize attacks against innocent civilians and our partners, in Iraq and northeastern Syria. ”
The United Nations Security Council, meanwhile, announced that it will meet urgently this Thursday to discuss the Turkish offensive in northeastern Syria, at the request of France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and Poland, the five countries of the European Union (EU) currently sitting in the organism.