US Senators Chris Van Hollen and Lindsey Graham on Thursday outlined arms embargo and sanctions against Turkey for its $2.5 billion S-400 buy and for attacking Kurdish forces in Syria.
“Today Senator Lindsey Graham and I are announcing a framework to place immediate sanctions on senior Turkish government officials (including Turkey’s President, Vice President & Minister of National Defense among others), prohibit all US military business and US military transactions with Turkey, and immediately activate the 2017 CAATSA provisions passed by the Congress with respect to Turkey,” Hollen said in a statement.
In the Graham-Van Hollen Turkey Sanctions Bill, the senators have asked to remove CAATSA waiver, define Tukey’s S-400 purchase as a “significant transaction under Section 231 of CAATSA” and implement the sanctions within 180 days from designating as significant.
America imposes secondary sanctions known as Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) against countries that buy Russian military equipment. The CAATSA was passed to punish Russia for its interference in US elections and its involvement in Ukraine.
On October 9, Turkey's military began Operation Peace Spring, launching air and land attacks against Kurdish forces in northern Syria after US President Donald Trump gave the nation tacit approval on Sunday when he announced the withdrawal of US troops from the region.
"This unlawful and unwarranted attack against an American friend and partner threatens the lives and livelihoods of millions of civilians, many of whom have already fled from their homes elsewhere in Syria to find safety in this region," the statement read.
"This invasion will ensure the resurgence of ISIS in Syria, embolden America's enemies including al-Qaeda, Iran and Russia, and launch yet another endless conflict in what had been, until today, one of the most safe and stable areas of Syria."
The bill includes sanctions “against any foreign person who sells or provides financial, material, or technological support or knowingly does a transaction with the Turkish military” including “aircraft or aircraft parts, machinery, used by the Turkish Air Force, automotive equipment and services utilized by the Turkish Land and Naval Forces, and weapons or defense articles utilized by the Turkish Military.”
It also prohibits the sale of US defense hardware, services, technology, materials to the Turkish Armed Forces.