US hits Turkey with sanctions over Syria offensive


The US has sanctioned Turkey’s defence and energy ministries, as well as the ministers of defence, energy and interior, in response to the country’s military offensive in northern Syria.

President Donald Trump was also reported to have made a phone call to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to demand an immediate truce.

Vice-President Mike Pence who disclosed this to newsmen said he would travel to the region “as quickly as possible”, just as he reiterated that the US “did not give a green light to Turkey to invade Syria”.

Turkey says its offensive aims to push Kurdish forces from the border region and establish what the government in Ankara describes as a “safe zone”, but critics warn that many of them are not Kurds and the move could lead to ethnic cleansing of the local Kurdish population.

The US earlier said that the Turkish “unacceptable” incursion into Syria has resulted in the release of many captured IS fighters.

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