Mnuchin Warns Turkey ‘Powerful Sanctions’ Are In Offing for Military Incursion

October 11, 2019 by Dan McCue
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks during a Press Briefing in the James S. Brady Briefing Room of the White House on Oct. 11, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Oliver Contreras/Sipa USA/TNS)

WASHINGTON – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters on Friday that President Trump has authorized his department to impose “very significant new sanctions” against Turkey for its military incursion into northern Syria.

“I want to emphasize, at this point, we are not activating the sanctions,” Mnuchin said after meeting with the president at the White House. “We are putting financial institutions on notice that they should be careful, and that there could be sanctions.”

Many have called President Donald Trump’s decision Sunday to pull a small number of U.S. troops away from the Turkish border a grave mistake that precipitated the current crisis in northern Syria.

Some of his staunchest Republican supporters, including Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have sharply criticized the decision and urged him to reconsider.

Many have said they regard the administration’s decision to leave the area as a betrayal of the U.S.-armed Kurdish fighters who have partnered with U.S. forces against the Islamic State group since 2015.

“The President is concerned about the ongoing military offensive and potential targeting of civilians, civilian infrastructure, ethnic or religious minorities,” Mnuchin said. “And also the President wants to make very clear: It is imperative that Turkey not allow even a single ISIS fighter to escape.”

A report then asked the Treasury Secretary whether the president has expressed any concern that his action led to the Turkish invasion.

“No, I don’t think he thinks his actions are what led to this,” Mnuchin said. “It is a complicated situation.” 

Meanwhile at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters that the “Impulsive” decision by Turkey to invade northern Syria after the pullback of U.S. troops has badly damaged already tenuous relations with Turkey.

In July, Turkey was booted from a Defense Department fighter jet program for refusing to cancel its purchase of a Russian air defense system that is incompatible with NATO.

Esper also insisted that despite the troop pullback, the United States has not abandoned its Syrian Kurdish partners.

“To be clear, we are not abandoning our Kurdish partner forces, and U.S. troops remain with them in other parts of Syria. The impulsive action of President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan to invade northern Syria has put the United States in a tough situation,” Esper said.

Foreign Affairs

The Hong Kong Police Gunshot That Unleashed a Day of Mayhem Foreign Affairs
The Hong Kong Police Gunshot That Unleashed a Day of Mayhem

HONG KONG — Even before most of Hong Kong got to work Monday, protesters already had a fresh grievance against the police. A traffic cop seeking to break up a rush-hour roadblock grabbed a masked protester in a headlock and shot another in the abdomen at... Read More

Bolivia’s Evo Morales Resigns Amid Fraud Allegations, Growing Protests In The News
Bolivia’s Evo Morales Resigns Amid Fraud Allegations, Growing Protests

Evo Morales — the man who rose from being a community organizer and coca farmer to one of Bolivia’s most enduring and powerful presidents — resigned Sunday amid a growing backlash sparked by a troubled Oct. 20 presidential election. In a short televised address, Morales, 60,... Read More

House Overwhelmingly Approves Resolution Recognizing Armenian Genocide Geopolitics
House Overwhelmingly Approves Resolution Recognizing Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON — The House on Tuesday overwhelmingly reaffirmed that the U.S. government should recognize the century-old killings of 1.5 million Armenians as a genocide. The resolution, which is not legally binding, marked the first time in 35 years that either chamber of Congress labeled as genocide... Read More

Death of al-Baghdadi Ends a Decade-Long Manhunt Foreign Affairs
Death of al-Baghdadi Ends a Decade-Long Manhunt

WASHINGTON — The U.S. special forces operation in Syria that led to the reported death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State militant group, brought to a close a manhunt that lasted nearly a decade and dealt a significant blow to a jihadi... Read More

US Officials Try to Contain the Damage And Assure Allies After Trump’s Syria Withdrawal Foreign Affairs
US Officials Try to Contain the Damage And Assure Allies After Trump’s Syria Withdrawal

WASHINGTON — As President Donald Trump claims victory in the Turkish-Russian takeover of northern Syria, members of his government are traveling the globe in an attempt to control the damage and reassure spooked allies about U.S. intentions. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Thursday attended an uncomfortable... Read More

Trump Pushes Back At Doral G-7 Controversy: 'It Would Have Been Best Ever' Foreign Affairs
Trump Pushes Back At Doral G-7 Controversy: 'It Would Have Been Best Ever'
October 22, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump on Monday pushed back at the widespread criticism of his now abandoned plan to host the upcoming G-7 summit at his Doral resort in South Florida. "You people, with this phony Emoluments Clause," the president said in rambling remarks before a... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top