Trump Signs Executive Order to Impose Sanctions, Visa Bans on Turkey

October 14, 2019 Updated: October 15, 2019

President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order to place sanctions and visa bans on the Turkish government following Ankara’s offensive into northern Syria.

The move was announced by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outside the White House.

“The president of the United States called on the president of Turkey to stop the invasion,” Pence said near the Oval Office.

“The United States of America simply is not going to tolerate Turkey’s invasion in Syria any further. We are calling on Turkey to stand down, end the violence and come to the negotiating table,” he added to reporters.

On Wednesday, Turkey launched an incursion into northern Syria days after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told Trump that he had planned to move ahead with a long-planned move against the Kurds, who fought against the ISIS terrorist group.

“To avoid suffering further sanctions imposed under this new executive order, Turkey must immediately cease its unilateral offensive in northeast Syria and return to a dialogue with the United States on security in northeast Syria,” Pompeo said.

Turkish soldiers and Turkey-backed Syrian fighters gather on the northern outskirts of the Syrian city of Manbij near the Turkish border on Oct. 14, 2019. (Zein Al Rifai/AFP via Getty Images)
Turkey kurd
A Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighter reacts before crossing into Syria, in the border town of Akcakale in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, on Oct. 12, 2019. (Kemal Aslan/Reuters)

The United States had imposed sanctions on Turkey’s ministers of defense, interior, and energy, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

“The Turkish Government’s actions are endangering innocent civilians, and destabilizing the region, including undermining the campaign to defeat ISIS,” the statement said, adding that the “designation of these ministries and officials is a result of the Turkish Government’s actions that further deteriorate peace, security, and stability of the region. We are prepared to impose additional sanctions on Government of Turkey officials and entities, as necessary.”

According to CBS News, Pence said Trump ordered a hike on steel tariffs and canceled negotiations on a $100 billion trade deal with Turkey.

Meanwhile, Trump said that some 1,000 troops leaving Syria would now be redeployed to the region to stop the revival of ISIS.

Smoke rises from Tel Arkam village
Smoke rises from Tel Arkam village in Ras al Ain countryside, Syria, on Oct. 10, 2019. (Stringer/Reuters)
Smoke rises from an explosion in the border town of Tel Abyad
Smoke rises from an explosion in the border town of Tel Abyad, Syria, as seen from Akcakale, Turkey on Oct. 9, 2019. (Haberturk/via Reuters TV)

“United States troops coming out of Syria will now redeploy and remain in the region to monitor the situation and prevent a repeat of 2014, when the neglected threat of ISIS raged across Syria and Iraq,” Trump said in a statement.

Pentagon officials on Friday denied that the United States is abandoning its Syrian Kurdish allies.

“We have not abandoned the Kurds. Let me be clear about that,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters. “We have not abandoned them. Nobody green-lighted this operation by Turkey—just the opposite. We pushed back very hard at all levels for the Turks not to commence this operation.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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