U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Wednesday called for sanctions against Turkey following that nation’s military incursion into northern Syria, which endangers America’s Kurdish allies.
In a statement, Blackburn said:
“For years, American forces, including Tennessee’s own elite 5th Group out of Fort Campbell, have stood alongside our Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Global Coalition partners to provide safety and security to Syria. Each time the possibility of American withdrawal from the region has been presented, I have called for a second look at the impacts of such a decision.
“An American presence in northern Syria preserves the possibility for an enduring defeat of ISIS, while a premature withdrawal of U.S. forces puts at risk the gains achieved by the Global Coalition – and even cedes critical geopolitical space to Russia and Iran.
“Just as important is the safety and security of the SDF, the Kurdish forces who were integral to the defeat of the so-called ISIS physical caliphate. 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. The U.S. does not abandon or endanger partners who have made significant sacrifices and contributions to protect our national security interests. The Turkish offensive into northern Syria is damaging and in direct opposition to the international rules-based order.
“Today, I join a bipartisan group of Senators in calling for sanctions. Turkey must pay the price for its aggression toward our Kurdish partners.”
On Monday, Blackburn began sharing her concerns for the Kurds in Syria, The Tennessee Star reported.
Also the same day, Blackburn appeared on Fox News to talk about the need to protect the Kurds.
Blackburn said she was concerned about what would happen to 2,000 ISIS fighters for which Turkey has responsibility.
On Jan. 31, Blackburn and U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) wrote a letter requesting that Trump “develop and implement a strategy to help protect the security and diplomatic equities of our Kurdish partners serving in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) during and after the withdrawal of United States military forces from Syria.”
Blackburn included a provision in the Senate-passed 2020 National Defense Authorization Act to support the U.S. partnership with the Kurds in Syria.
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