President Trump on Monday declared that “big sanctions” were forthcoming for Turkey as the Turkish government continued to bombard Kurdish forces in northern Syria.
Later in the day, the president tweeted a statement saying he will soon issue an executive order suspending trade negotiations with Turkey, sanctioning officials, and raising their tariffs on steel to 50%:
🔦 The Turkish government’s attacks on the Kurds began shortly after Trump withdrew troops from that area. The Kurds have been valuable U.S. allies in fighting against the Islamic State.
Though Trump vowed punishment for Turkey’s recent strike, he said in a tweet that the United States is “not going into another war between people who have been fighting with each other for 200 years.”
The tension between the Kurds, the Turkish government, and the United States is due to a delicate political triangle between all three: Turkey is a long-standing NATO ally, while the Kurds’ recent aid to America in fighting Islamic terrorism has been invaluable. Kurds, however, are viewed with hostility by the Turkish government, and have suffered significant persecution and repression from government officials.