Hoping to push Trump on Syria, U.S. lawmakers offer Turkey sanctions bills
By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican and Democratic U.S. lawmakers called for more sanctions on Turkey on Thursday over its offensive in Syria, saying they hoped to push Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan - and U.S. President Donald Trump - to change course.
By Patricia Zengerle
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican and Democratic U.S. lawmakers called for more sanctions on Turkey on Thursday over its offensive in Syria, saying they hoped to push Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan - and U.S. President Donald Trump - to change course.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen announced one bill, which would target Turkish officials, end U.S. military cooperation with the NATO ally and mandate sanctions over Turkey's purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defence system.
Leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations and House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committees also introduced sanctions measures, with many of the same provisions.
Graham, a lead sponsor of one proposal, predicted that it would pass the Senate with enough support to overcome a possible veto by Trump.
Normally an ardent defender of fellow Republican Trump, Graham has questioned the president's decision to withdraw troops from northeastern Syria, paving the way for a Turkish offensive against Kurdish fighters who until recently were helping U.S. forces fight Islamic State (ISIS) militants.
"Congress is going to speak with a very firm, singular voice, that we will impose sanctions in the strongest measure possible against this Turkish outrage that will lead to the re-emergence of ISIS, the destruction of an ally, the Kurds and eventually benefit to Iran to the detriment of Israel," he told a news conference.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Tom Brown)
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