Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi

Congress Condemns Turkish Invasion of Syria

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WASHINGTON — The United States Senate and House of Representatives condemned Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria, and called for sanctioning Turkey for its violence against innocent civilians, specifically targeting the Kurdish population and ethnic minorities in the region, such as Armenians, Assyrians, Yazidis, and other vulnerable minority groups, reported the Armenian Assembly of America.

On October 14, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) discussed reaching across the aisle to take additional measures.

“We must put together the strongest bipartisan, bicameral sanctions package similar to the bipartisan bill the House is advancing,” Pelosi said.

“I will be working across party lines in a bicameral fashion to draft sanctions and move quickly, appreciating President Trump’s willingness to work with the Congress,” stated Senator Graham.

Last week, a series of measures were discussed and proposed in both congressional chambers. Senators Graham and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) introduced a framework of legislation that puts financial and visa restrictions on US-based assets of Turkish authorities, sanctions military transactions with Turkey and the Turkish energy sector, and prohibits US military assistance. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-TX) introduced H.Res.625 to sanction Turkish officials and banks involved in the defense sector.

“The sanctions we are introducing will hold Erdogan accountable for this stunning disruption to international security,” stated Engel.

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“Turkey’s military operation has already resulted in civilian casualties and threatens global security by creating conditions that will enable an ISIS resurgence. It must stop its incursion immediately,” McCaul said.

Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) also took the lead to condemn Turkey for its violence in northern Syria with nearly 30 US Representatives in support of legislation to sanction Turkey.

Cheney is joined by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX), Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI), Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR), Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Rep. French Hill (R-AR), Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI), Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX), Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL), Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA), Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL), Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), and Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR).

“President Erdogan and his regime must face serious consequences for mercilessly attacking our Kurdish allies in northern Syria, who incurred thousands of casualties in the fight against ISIS and helped us protect the homeland,” said Cheney.

“The international community should not stand by and watch as Turkey once again subjects ethnic and religious minorities in Syria to horrific atrocities. It is our legacy to protect those whose lives are at risk and our responsibility to prevent atrocities from being committed. We urge Congress to take immediate action against Turkey and to swiftly adopt bipartisan, bicameral legislation,” Armenian Assembly of America Co-Chairs Anthony Barsamian and Van Krikorian stated.

 

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