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Graham Offers Turkey Sanctions After Trump Reversal on Syria

(Bloomberg) -- South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham introduced a bipartisan measure Wednesday to sanction Turkey in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops from northern Syria, which left Kurdish fighters in Syria vulnerable to a Turkish invasion. Graham is partnering with Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen on a bill that would trigger sanctions unless the Trump administration “certifies to Congress -- every 90 days” that Turkey is not operating in Syrian territory. Turkish ground forces invaded Syria Wednesday. The sanctions would target Turkish leaders including the president, vice president and ministers of defense, finance, trade and energy, as well as against any foreign national who provides support to the Turkish military. The bill would also prohibit foreign entities from supporting Turkish energy production used by its armed forces and would require a report on Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s net worth.The quick bipartisan deal reflects the broad outrage over Trump’s reversal that abandoned the Kurdish allies that fought with U.S. troops against the Islamic State. While Republicans have disagreed with Trump on other matters of foreign policy, never have they promised such swift action to contain the damage from a presidential action they have so publicly denounced. Trump received unusually sharp words from several Republicans, including those who rarely cross him, like Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn.“I condemn in the strongest possible terms any U.S. policy that will result in endangerment of the Kurds who have sacrificed so much blood and treasure alongside American forces,” Blackburn said in a statement Wednesday. “The U.S. does not abandon or endanger partners who have made significant sacrifices and contributions to protect our national security interests.”To contact the reporter on this story: Anna Edgerton in Washington at aedgerton@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Kevin WhitelawFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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