WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), the top Democrat on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism, on Friday made the following statement on the Trump administration’s impending Executive Order to sanction Turkey over its actions in Syria:
“This is farcical. President Trump’s Executive Order—after he pulled out U.S. troops specifically to allow Turkey to invade northern Syria, and after that invasion is already underway—is nothing more than empty words and an insult to the Kurds we have betrayed. Sanctions won’t stop the war and certainly won’t save the Kurds. Secretary Mnuchin already made clear today that in spite of these new authorizations, the administration is not taking any immediate action. Not to mention the fact that Congress has already authorized sanctions on Turkey that President Trump has refused to enact. If the president actually wanted to help our Kurdish allies in the fight against ISIS, he would reverse his decision to pull U.S. troops out of northeastern Syria, implement the S-400 and Halkbank sanctions he already has in his back pocket, and cancel his meeting with Erdogan next month,” said Murphy.
Earlier this week, Murphy and U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) called on the president to reconsider his decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria and open the door for Turkey to attack, calling it a victory for Assad, Russia, Iran, and ISIS. On Wednesday, Murphy released a statement after it was reported that Turkey launched an offensive against Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria. Murphy also held a press conference in Connecticut this week with members of the Syrian Kurdish community in Connecticut and legal experts to discuss the president’s reckless foreign policy decisions that greenlighted Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria. Murphy was joined by Azad Hamoto, Kate Dischino, and Will Kneerim. He also took questions from the press.