Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday while dismissing a ceasefire in northern Syria said he was not worried over US sanctions. He also said the Syrian army’s entry into the flashpoint northern Syrian city of Manbij was not a “very negative” development for his country as long as the region is cleared of Syrian Kurdish fighters. “They tell us ‘to declare a ceasefire’. We can never declare a ceasefire,” Erdogan told journalists on a flight back from Azerbaijan, in comments published by the Hurriyet daily.
On Monday, US President Donald Trump announced he will authorise sanctions against Turkish officials, raise steel tariffs and end negotiations on a US dollar 100 billion trade deal. Trump said in a statement said: “This (executive) order will enable the US 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."
"I’m fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path," the president said.
Trump said he will be issuing the executive order authorising imposition of sanctions against current and former officials of Turkey and those contributing to destabilising Syria.
Last week, the UN had said some 100,000 people had been forced to flee their homes since the beginning of Turkey’s military incursion on Wednesday, after US President Donald Trump ordered American troops to pull back from the border. The UN warned of the impact of any further escalation of Turkey’s offensive or of sudden shifts in control over territory.
“Concerns remain grave around the risks facing thousands of vulnerable displaced persons, including women and children in various (displacement) camps,” it said, pointing to Al-Hol, a camp holding relatives of IS suspects that lies outside the area targeted by Turkey.
The UN said that there were many other humanitarian consequences to the military assault, which is being conducted on multiple fronts along the border.