China News Agency, Washington, Oct. 12 (Reporter Chen Mengtong) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced at the White House on November 11 that President Trump has authorized the Treasury Department to impose new major sanctions on the Turkish government and individuals. The relevant presidential executive decree will be signed subsequently.
Turkeys military operation against Kurdish forces in northern Syria has entered its third day. Trump said on the 10th that the United States has three options for Turkey to send troops to Syria: sending troops, sanctions and mediation. He hopes to mediate Turkeys relations with the Kurds.
Recently, after hours of air and artillery attacks, Turkish troops crossed four routes into the Syrian border towns of Las Ain and Taylor Abyed.
The U.S. decision was rather sudden. Less than an hour before Mnuchins press conference, the White House rushed to update its agenda.
At the press conference, Mnuchin stressed that although authorized, the Ministry of Finance has not yet activated sanctions. We will consult with the Ministry of Defense and the State Council to ease the situation as soon as possible. He also said that the sanctions were very powerful. We hope they will not be implemented, but if necessary, we can put the Turkish economy to a standstill.
Mnuchin noted that Trump was concerned about Turkeys military operations and possible attacks on civilians, civilian infrastructure, ethnic minorities or religious groups.
While Mnuchin spoke at the White House, U.S. Defense Secretary Esper and U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Miley also blew the breeze to reporters at the Pentagon to inform them about the deployment of U.S. troops in Syria.
Esper said the United States opposed Turkeys decision to unilaterally invade northern Syria and was very disappointed. Turkeys actions put the Syrian Democratic Army partners at risk. At the same time, it will endanger the security of the camps where the armed elements of the Islamic State are detained and further destabilize the region.
American media reported that the Syrian Democratic Army led by the Kurdish armed Peoples Protection Force was Turkeys primary target of attack. Turkey believes that the peoples protection force is a branch of the Kurdish workers Party in Syria, which is listed as a terrorist organization by the Turkish government. The United States sees it as an ally in the fight against Islamic states.
Syrian state television reported on the 9th that the Turkish army launched a military operation to the northern part of Hasek Province in Syria on the same day, causing damage to local infrastructure and a large number of people fled.
Miley pointed out that the border between Turkey and Syria is about 440 kilometers, and the Turkish front is about 120 kilometers. So far, there are about hundreds of Turkish troops in Syria. Elsewhere in Syria, the U.S. military is still stationed with the Syrian Democratic Army.
U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo also reiterated through the media on the same day that Turkeys invasion of Syria was inappropriate. The United States is using all economic and diplomatic means to persuade Turkey to stop its actions.
NBC believes that economic sanctions set a red line for Turkeys military operations. If Turkeys actions are unequal, inhumane or beyond the Presidents bottom line, they will pay a heavy price, the report quoted a senior State Department official as saying.
Source: Responsible Editor of CNN: Li Zaixing_NBJS9026