US Senate committee approves Turkey sanctions bill

US Senate committee approves Turkey sanctions bill

US Senate committee approves Turkey sanctions bill

A U.S. Senate committee backed legislation on Dec. 11 to impose sanctions on Turkey after its anti-terror operation in Syria and purchase of a Russian S-400 missile system.

The Republican-led Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted by 18-4 to send the "Promoting American National Security and Preventing the Resurgence of ISIS Act of 2019" for a vote in the full Senate.

The bill was sponsored by committee Chairman Jim Risch and ranking Democrat Bob Menendez.

"Turkey’s actions over the past year are truly beyond the pale," said Menendez on Twitter, adding that the bill gives a message to Turkey that its operation is "unacceptable and its purchase of the S400 system is untenable.”

"Now's the time for the Senate to come together and take this opportunity to change Turkey's behavior," said Senator Jim Risch, the panel's Republican chairman, a lead sponsor of the bill with Senator Bob Menendez, the panel's top Democrat.

Turkey's U.S. Ambassador Serdar Kılıç called the move a "shame" and urged Menendez to consider U.S. support for PYD/YPG terror group, the Syrian affiliate of PKK in northern Syria.

"What about your actions senator? Supporting a terrorist organization with the pretext of fighting another, calling it an ally, turning a blind eye to the miseries it inflicts on the Syrian people, trying to deprive a NATO ally from its right to fight against terrorism. SHAME," Kılıç tweeted.

Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, and Tom Udall voted against the bill.

The bill seeks to impose government officials, foreign persons providing arms to Turkish forces in Syria and financial institutions that facilitate transactions for Turkish Armed Forces, as well as the imposition of 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA.

In October, a bipartisan bill was also passed 403-16 seeking to impose sanctions on Turkey for its Syria operation.

To become law, the legislation would have to pass the House of Representatives, which passed its own Turkish sanctions bill by an overwhelming 403-16 vote in October and be signed by Trump.