Washington—House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) announced they will introduce legislation to sanction Turkish officials involved in the Syria operation and banks involved in the defense sector until Turkey ends its military operations in Syria. The bill also requires the Administration to sanction Turkey for its Russian made S-400 purchase. Additionally, it would prohibit American arms exports to the Turkish Armed Forces conducting operations in Syria and would prohibit use of the emergency provision in the Arms Export Control Act for Turkey.
“I strongly condemn both President Erdogan’s decision to attack America’s partners in Syria and President Trump’s decision to step back and let it happen. The Turkish assault on the Syrian Kurds is a gift to Russia, Iran, and ISIS, and a blow to our national security interests,” said Chairman Engel. “The sanctions we are introducing will hold Erdogan accountable for this stunning disruption to international security. Congress must continue to work in a thorough, bipartisan manner to address the disastrous consequences of President Trump’s decision.”
Congressman McCaul said, “Turkey’s military operation has already resulted in civilian casualties and threatens global security by creating conditions that will enable an ISIS resurgence. It must stop its incursion immediately. The purpose of our bill is simple: it compels those individuals and institutions in Turkey that are carrying out this deadly and counterproductive offensive to withdraw. Additionally, it calls on the administration to have an actionable plan to keep ISIS detainees held at Syrian facilities properly secured. My number one priority is protecting the homeland from external threats and that’s at the heart of this bill.”
Specifically, the Engel and McCaul bill would:
• Sanction and ban senior Turkish officials involved in the assault from entering the United States
• Stop arms from going to Turkish forces operating in Syria
• Impose immediate sanctions on Turkish financial institutions that facilitate transactions for the Turkish military and defense industry
• Require the Administration to impose CAATSA Section 231 sanctions against Turkey within 30 days for its purchase of the S-400 air and missile defense system
• Require the Administration to write a plan to ensure ISIS detainees held in Syria remain under proper custody and do not threaten U.S. security interests
• Require the Administration to create a plan for how the United States will assist Syrian Kurdish communities, including those needing immediate humanitarian aid.
Draft text of the bill can be found here.
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