Graham vows ‘sanctions from hell’ if Turkey moves into Syria

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned on Tuesday that Turkey would face “sanctions from hell” if it moves its military into northern Syria, in the wake of President Trump’s decision to draw back U.S. troops.

“If Turkey moves into northern Syria, sanctions from hell — by Congress — will follow. Wide, deep, and devastating sanctions,” Graham tweeted

Turkish officials told Reuters on Tuesday that their military on Monday night bombed the Syria-Iraq border to prevent the Kurds from using the transit route to fortify their positions in the area. A security official said the intention was to cut off the road “before the operation in Syria.”
{mosads}“In this way, the group’s transit to Syria and support lines, including ammunition, are shut off,” the official said.

The move comes after the White House announced on Sunday night that Ankara was moving forward with a long-threatened offensive in northeastern Syria and that U.S. troops would not be in the “immediate area” when it happens.

Graham, along with most lawmakers for both parties, panned that decision, calling it a “disaster in the making.” During a Monday interview with Fox News’s “Fox & Friends,” he pledged that he would work to slap new sanctions on Turkey if “they step one foot inside Syria.” 

“I hope I’m making myself clear how shortsighted and irresponsible this decision is in my view,” he said. “This to me is just unnerving to its core.” 

Graham said later on Monday that he is working on sanctions legislation with Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). 
“We will introduce bipartisan sanctions against Turkey if they invade Syria and will call for their suspension from NATO if they attack Kurdish forces who assisted the U.S. in the destruction of the ISIS Caliphate,” Graham added.
Trump has defended his decision to pull back U.S. troops but also threatened to devastate Turkey’s economy if it does anything “off limits.” 
“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!),” Trump tweeted on Monday
He defended Turkey on Tuesday amid GOP backlash to the withdrawal, noting their membership in NATO and the U.S.-Turkey trade relationship. 

“So many people conveniently forget that Turkey is a big trading partner of the United States, in fact they make the structural steel frame for our F-35 Fighter Jet,” Trump tweeted. “They have also been good to deal with, helping me to save many lives at Idlib Province, and returning, in very good health, at my request, Pastor Brunson, who had many years of a long prison term remaining.”

Tags Chris Van Hollen Donald Trump Lindsey Graham Syria

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