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U.S. to impose sanctions on Turkey, raise steel tariffs over offensive in Syria

Updated:2019-10-15 09:22:55

  WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Monday that he will soon issue an executive order authorizing sanctions against former and current Turkish officials over the country's offensive in Syria.

  He also said in a statement that the United States will immediately stop negotiations over a 100-billion-U.S. dollars trade deal with Turkey and raise tariffs on steel imports from Turkey back up to 50 percent, as part of the U.S. response to Turkish military operations starting Wednesday targeting the Kurdish forces in several parts of northeast Syria.

  Trump's announcement came days after his administration threatened harsh sanctions against Turkey and also followed his order to withdraw around 1,000 U.S. troops from northern Syria over the weekend as the offensive has been underway.

  According to the statement posted first by Trump in a tweet on Monday afternoon, the executive order will enable Washington to impose "powerful additional sanctions" against those involved in "serious human rights abuses, obstructing a ceasefire, preventing displaced persons from returning home" among other issues regarding Turkey's action in Syria.

  The blacklisted persons will face a broad range of consequences, "including financial sanctions, the blocking of property, and barring entry into the United States," the statement added.

  Trump also noted that the U.S. troops leaving Syria will remain in the Middle East region to "monitor the situation," while a small number of U.S. forces will remain at At Tanf Garrison in southern Syria to counter the remnants of the Islamic State (IS).

  The tariffs hike announced on Monday was expected to put Ankara in a tougher economic situation after a reduction months ago.

  The United States in May cut its tariffs on imports of Turkish steel from 50 percent to 25 percent, while terminating the preferential trade treatment for Turkey.