Alwaght- The US President Donald Trump has given his administration full powers to push sanctions against Turkey for its operation against the Syrian Kurds in northern Syria, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on Friday.
Munchin said the upcoming actions will be devastating, though he did not say how the president wants to punish Turkey. But it is believed that individuals from the Turkish government will be affected.
“These are very powerful sanctions. We hope we don’t have to use them. But we can shut down the Turkish economy if we need to,” the Treasury chief told reporters.
The threats with sanctions come a day after Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring in the east of the Euphrates region, where the Kurdish fighters are in control after they defeated ISIS in the northern areas in 2017.
Congress also steps up anti-Turkish tone. It said it has plans to debate a bill against Turkey which started its incursion a day after the US president said he removed the US forces from northern Syria where they were operating beside the Kurdish allies.
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina started to push his ally Trump to consider sanctions this week as the Turkish president said that the operation in Syria could begin any moment.
Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney said Turkey must face "serious consequences for mercilessly attacking our Kurdish allies" in the region.
The US threats come after Kurdish groups felt betrayed by Trump who took out of the north the residual 50 US forces and took no serious action to dissuade Erdogan from the campaign.
The Kurdish groups called on the US to protect them as they for the last four years played as the key ally of Washington on the Syrian ground.
Turkey says it is launching the attacks to clear terrorists from the border with Syria and set up a safe zone on the border. It reference is to the Syrian Kurdish militant groups, including the SDF and the YPG, that hold control of the area. Ankara labels them terrorists as it accuses them of affiliation with PKK terrorist group that has been fighting Turkey at home for over three decades.
The Kurdish groups said that they will counter the invasion and reports said that they have fired mortars into the Turkish border villages within their fire range.
The rights groups warned that civilians may be the main victims of the clashes as they intensify.