U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is set to impose economic sanctions on Ankara, potentially as early as this week, for its incursion into northern Syria
one of the few options the United States still has over NATO-ally Turkey. Using the U.S. military to stop the Turkish offensive on U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters was never an option, defense officials have said, and Trump asked the Pentagon on Sunday to begin a “deliberate” withdrawal of all U.S. troops from northern Syria.
Trump’s decision, rooted in his long-stated aim to get the United States out of “endless wars,” has prompted bipartisan concerns that it opens the door to the revival.
While sanctions appear to be the strongest tool of deterrence, the United States and its European allies could also ponder arms sales bans and the threat of war crimes prosecutions.
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday that the remaining 1,000 US troops in northern Syria would be withdrawn, but US officials told The Daily Beast they will just be moved further away from the advancing Turkish forces.
A Turkish airstrike nearly hit a small group of US soldiers stationed in Syria on Friday.
Observers have noted that the US withdrawal may pave the way for an ISIS resurgence in the region. A US official told CNN on Sunday that the chaos on the ground in Syria means the US campaign to defeat the Islamic State in the country is “over for now,” as they were revived and “with nearly 100,000, who will rejoin, ”The official said, in their opinion, that “US policy has failed.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has turned hawkish as the US has retreated, overseeing key military captures along the border that have taken some Kurdish control.