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Lindsey Graham threatens Turkey with "most crippling sanctions" since Iran

Lindsey Graham
Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday condemned Turkey for its "outrageous assault" on U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria, which followed President Trump's decision to withdraw troops from the area.

Turkey's day of reckoning is coming for their outrageous assault on Kurdish Syrians. I’m leading the effort in Congress to work with the President on the most crippling sanctions since the Iran sanctions. Turkeys misadventure in Syria, if left unchecked, will destabilize the Middle East as much as Iran -- to the detriment of the United States and our allies.

The big picture: Though he's continued to fight back against criticism from Graham and other Republican allies for his Syria decision, Trump has endorsed the idea of sanctioning Turkey for its attack on the primarily-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, which allied with the U.S. in the fight against ISIS.

  • On ABC's "This Week," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. is "ready to go at a moment's notice to put on sanctions," and that "they could be maximum pressure, which would destroy the Turkish economy."
  • In April, the IMF predicted that sanctions stemming from the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal would cause the Iranian economy to contract by 6% in 2019.

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