President Donald Trump said he would issue an executive order imposing economic sanctions on Turkey after Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan invaded Syria last week to attack the Kurds.
In a statement, Trump said that he would increase steel tariffs to 50 percent and threatened to end negotiations for a $100 billion trade deal with Turkey if they did not back down.
“The Order will authorize a broad range of consequences, including financial sanctions, the blocking of property, and barring entry into the United States,” he warned.
The president said that his order could be used to weigh additional economic sanctions if Turkey was found to commit serious human rights abuses or other violence in Syria.
Trump said that he was “perfectly clear” with President Erdogan that he did not approve of the military offensive against the Kurds in Syria.
“Turkey must ensure the safety of civilians, including religious and ethnic minorities, and is now, or may be in the future, responsible for the ongoing detention of ISIS terrorists in the region,” he wrote.
Trump confirmed that he would continue to withdraw American troops from northeast Syria, but that they would remain in the region to monitor any possible resurgence of ISIS activity.
But he was sharply critical of the Turkish invasion against the Kurds, repeating his threat of economic destruction to President Erdoğan
“I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path,” he wrote.
On Twitter, Trump also endorsed a Kurdish agreement with Syrian leaders for their protection.
“Let Syria and Assad protect the Kurds and fight Turkey for their own land,” he wrote, and added,”Anyone who wants to assist Syria in protecting the Kurds is good with me, whether it is Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte.”