Pentagon to ‘press NATO allies to sanction Turkey’ over Syrian op, lays blame on Erdogan for ‘potential ISIS resurgence’

Turkey’s operations in northeast Syria have “undermined” the campaign against Islamic State, the Pentagon has claimed, warning that the US will be “pressing” their NATO allies to sanction Turkey for its “egregious actions.”
Blaming Turkey for “undermining the successful multinational ‘Defeat ISIS’ mission in Syria,” US Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced a “deliberate withdrawal” of US forces from northeast Syria.

I will be visiting NATO next week in Brussels, where I plan to press our other NATO allies to take collective and individual diplomatic and economic measures in response to these egregious Turkish actions.

“President Erdogan bears full responsibility” for “a potential ISIS resurgence, possible war crimes, and a growing humanitarian crisis,” Esper warned, pinning the responsibility for “widespread casualties, refugees, destruction, insecurity, and a growing threat to US military forces” exclusively on Turkey.

        <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Here's the complete <a href="https://twitter.com/EsperDoD?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EsperDoD</a> statement. <a href="https://t.co/Ap9910MZy3">pic.twitter.com/Ap9910MZy3</a></p>&mdash; Steve Herman (@W7VOA) <a href="https://twitter.com/W7VOA/status/1183851198895607809?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 14, 2019</a></blockquote> <a href="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js">https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js</a>

While Turkey had given the US and regional powers weeks of advance notice of its plans to create a so-called “safe zone” in northeast Syria before launching “Operation Peace Spring” last week, the US has framed the campaign as a reckless and irresponsible operation, threatening Ankara with hefty sanctions and announcing a 50 percent increase on steel tariffs.

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After withdrawing a small contingent of US forces from the Syria-Turkey border last week, President Donald Trump threatened to “destroy” Turkey’s economy if the country stepped out of line, without explaining exactly what actions on Ankara’s part would trigger that destruction.

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October 14, 2019 at 10:08PM RT

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