US Senators call for economic sanctions against Turkey
Five Senators wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding the "reports of ongoing attacks against the PKK/YPG members by Turkey and its proxies outside of the designated safe zone" in northern Syria.
U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen, Lindsey Graham, Richard Blumenthal, Marsha Blackburn, and Jeanne Shaheed wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about reports of ongoing attacks against the PKK/YPG members by Turkey and its proxies outside of the designated safe zone.
Noting that they write regarding reports that Turkey and Turkish-backed forces are operating outside the agreed-upon "safe zone" in northeast Syria, the senators said:
"Given the stakes, time is of the essence. We ask that you immediately let us know if Turkey and/or its proxy forces are operating outside of the area that runs east-west between the towns of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain and south about 30 kilometers to the M4-M10 road. If so, does the Administration plan to impose sanctions on Turkey for violating the October 17 agreement?
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to clear northeastern Syria east of the Euphrates River of PKK/YPG members and create a safe zone along the border, thereby paving the way for the voluntary return of Syrian refugees.
Ankara and Washington reached a deal on Oct. 17 to halt the operation for 120 hours to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK members from the planned safe zone.