U.S. House backs measure to impose sanctions on Turkey
The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly for a resolution calling on President Donald Trump to impose sanctions and other restrictions on Turkey and Turkish officials over its offensive in northern Syria.
The measure passed 403-16, with 176 Republicans voting in support and just 15 opposing the bill.
The sanctions bill, dubbed the Protect Against Conflict by Turkey Act, would impose financial and visa penalties on officials connected to Turkey’s offensive in Syria, including the defense minister, the chief of the general staff of the Turkish armed forces and the finance minister, as well as sanction the state-owned bank Halkbank.
The bill would also ban arms sales to Turkey and sanction foreigners providing arms to Turkish forces in Syria. It also seeks to force the administration to impose the previously mandated sanctions for Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
The House brought the sanctions bill to the floor under suspension of the rules, meaning it needed at least two-thirds approval to pass.
Despite the bipartisan majority approving the bill in the House, the effort to slap new sanctions on Ankara appears stalled in the upper chamber after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned against rushing to sanction a NATO ally, the Hill reported.
Trump himself placed sanctions on Turkey, though he lifted them after a five-day cease-fire brokered by Vice President Mike Pence. Turkey agreed to the cease-fire in order to allow the Kurds to evacuate from a so-called safe zone.
In a previous rebuke to Trump, the House earlier this month overwhelmingly passed a resolution opposing his decision to withdraw U.S. troops.