WASHINGTON, October 15. /TASS/. The United States will increase steel tariffs for Turkey and stop negotiations on a trade deal with the country as part of its sanctions imposed over Turkey’s military operation in northeastern Syria, US President Donald Trump said on Monday.
"I will soon be issuing an Executive Order authorizing the imposition of sanctions against current and former officials of the Government of Turkey and any persons contributing to Turkey’s destabilizing actions in northeast Syria," Trump said in a statement released via Twitter.
The document envisages a wide range of measures, including financial sanctions, freeze of assets and travel bans.
"The steel tariffs will be increased back up to 50%, the level prior to reduction in May," the US leader said. "The United States will also immediately stop negotiations, being led by the Department of Commerce, with respect to a $100 billion trade deal with Turkey."
"I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path," Trump said.
According to the US leader, his future executive order "will enable the United States to impose powerful additional sanctions on those who may be involved in serious human rights abuses, obstructing a ceasefire, preventing displaced persons from returning home, forcibly repatriating refugees or threatening the peace, security or stability in Syria."
In his words, Turkey "must ensure the safety of civilians, including religious and ethnic minorities, and is now, or may be in the future, responsible for the ongoing detention of ISIS [Islamic State terrorist group, outlawed in Russia] terrorists in the region."
US troop withdrawal
US servicemen leaving Syria will be redeployed in the region, the US will retain only a small military contingent in the south of the country, Trump said.
"As I have already said, I am withdrawing the remaining United States service members from northeast Syria," the US leader said. "United States troops coming out of Syria will n o9w redeploy and remain in the region to monitor the situation and prevent a repeat of 2014, when the neglected threat of ISIS [Islamic State terrorist group, outlawed in Russia] raged across Syria and Iraq."
According to Trump, a limited number of US servicemen will remain in the Tanf base in southern Syria.
"A small footprint of United States forces will remain at At Tanf Garrison in southern Syria to continue to disrupt remnants of ISIS," Trump’s statement reads.
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said in a CBS interview on Sunday that his country was beginning the withdrawal of 1,000 servicemen from Syria’s north amid Turkey’s ongoing offensive and its possible plans to advance further into the south and east.
On October 9, Ankara launched an offensive in north Syria dubbed Operation Peace Spring, which began with airstrikes on Kurdish units. The objective is to establish a safety zone in northern Syria for protection of the Turkish border. In addition, Syrian refugees could return to that area from Turkey, Ankara believes. Syria’s SANA news agency slammed Ankara’s operation as an act of aggression. The world community has condemned Ankara’s actions.