Lindsey Graham says Congress will call for Turkey to be suspended from NATO and hit it with sanctions if it attacks Kurds




Lindsey Graham says Congress will call for Turkey to be suspended from NATO and hit it with sanctions if it attacks Kurds
Lindsey Graham says Congress will call for Turkey to be suspended from NATO and hit it with sanctions if it attacks Kurds  

Joshua Roberts/Reuters


  • Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on Monday said he expects bipartisan, veto-proof sanctions against Turkey if it attacks the Kurds in Syria.

  • Graham also said Congress would call for Turkey's suspension from NATO if they attack Kurdish forces.

  • This came after the Trump administration announced it's withdrawing US troops from northeastern Syria, a move that's led to widespread backlash as it offers a greenlight to Turkey to invade.

  • Turkey views the Kurdish forces as a threat.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on Monday warned Turkey a bipartisan group of lawmakers would introduce sanctions against it and "call for their suspension from NATO" if it attacks the Kurds in Syria.

Graham, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, "We will introduce bipartisan sanctions against Turkey if they invade Syria and will call for their suspension from NATO if they attack Kurdish forces who assisted the U.S. in the destruction of the ISIS Caliphate."

"Hope and expect sanctions against Turkey - if necessary - would be veto-proof," Graham added. He said he'd just spoken with Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who was on board.

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1181219809427623936?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Hope and expect sanctions against Turkey - if necessary - would be veto-proof.

This decision to abandon our Kurdish allies and turn Syria over to Russia, Iran, & Turkey will put every radical Islamist on steroids. Shot in the arm to the bad guys. Devastating for the good guys.

Graham has excoriated President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to withdraw US troops from northeastern Syria, abandoning Kurdish forces and opening the door for a Turkish military invasion. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan views the Kurdish forces as a threat.

Read more: Lindsey Graham, one of Trump's staunchest defenders, is slamming the president over his decision to pull out of northern Syria and says the White House is lying about ISIS

The Republican senator is typically one of Trump's key allies in Congress and a stalwart defender of the president. But he's exhibited a tendency to break from Trump on foreign policy, and this is not the first time he's criticized the president when it comes to US policy toward Syria.

The Kurds played a key role in the fight against US, losing thousands of fighters in the process.

A spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) characterized the move from the US as a "stab in the back," as Graham warned that it sends "the most dangerous signal possible" that the US is an "unreliable ally."

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