Turkey to respond tit-for-tat to possible United States sanctions

  • Turkey to respond tit-for-tat to possible United States sanctions

Turkey to respond tit-for-tat to possible United States sanctions

"No one should doubt that Turkey will respond tit-for-tat to possible U.S. sanctions", said spokesman Hami Aksoy, responding to a statement by the U.S. Treasury Department on possible sanctions against Turkey in relation to its anti-terror operation in northern Syria.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday that President Donald Trump had granted new authority to impose crippling sanctions on Turkey's economy and its leaders for Ankara's ongoing Operation Peace Spring.

Still, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he "will not stop" in his plans to carve out a safe zone in order to return the millions of Syrian refugees that Turkey has taken in since the start of Damascus's civil war.

Al Jazeera's Sinem Koseoglu reports from Istanbul.

Most Kurds in Syria, he said, did not support the movement, or the fighters.

"We can shut down the Turkish economy if we need to".

"These are very powerful sanctions".

It also emphasized that Turkey must not "allow even a single [Islamic State] fighter to escape" in the offensive.

Mnuchin stressed that the sanctions have not yet been activated, but that Trump has given the approval to issue them. "We hope we don't have to use them", he said. He also pushed back against criticism that the United States troop pullback was a green light to Turkey, portraying it instead as a decision taken to protect his forces.

He said that Turkey's operations were defensive and legal under the charters of both the United Nations and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, to which to which Turkey belongs.

In its first big attack since the assault began, Islamic State claimed responsibility for a deadly vehicle bomb in Qamishli, the biggest city in the Kurdish-held area of northeast Syria, even as the city came under heavy Turkish shelling.

"We, the USA military, have no responsibility to ... secure those ISIS prisoners in Syria", Milley said.

The Pentagon also stressed the need for Turkey to avoid doing anything to endanger United States forces inside Syria, which numbered about 1,000 prior to the incursion.

Milley said Turkey had been told of US positions in Syria.

Turkey will respond to any US sanctions within the framework of full reciprocity, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Friday.