US senators propose tough sanctions on Turkey
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he and Democrat Chris Van Hollen are introducing legislation that would freeze all US assets of Turkey's political leadership - including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his vice president and the defence minister.
It would also impose sanctions on entities that do business with Turkey's military, or with oil and gas companies that service its armed forces.
Graham and several other US lawmakers are furious over President Donald Trump's sudden military withdrawal from positions in northern Syria, blasting the move as a betrayal of Kurdish forces who for years have helped fight Islamic militants, and as an effective green light for Turkey to launch its long-planned offensive.
"While the Administration refuses to act against Turkey, I expect strong bipartisan support" for the measure, Graham said on Twitter.
Sanctions would be levied immediately upon enactment of the bill, which requires a presidential signature.
"These sanctions will have immediate, far-reaching consequences for Erdogan and his military," Van Hollen said on Twitter.
With Congress currently in recess, it is unlikely that any action on the measure would be taken before next week. The House and Senate are back in session on Tuesday.
Trump last year slapped tariffs on Turkey that threw the country's currency, the lira, into a tailspin as the two sides were at loggerheads over the detention in Turkey of American pastor Andrew Brunson.
|Read more: Worse than 1975: Trump's cynical betrayal of the Kurds|
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