U.S. Vice president Mike Pence revealed that President Donald Trump spoken with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and demanded he immediately halt hostilities in Syria.
In a press briefing held in front of the White House, Vice President Pence emphasized that he will head a delegation to Turkey, following President Trump’s offer to mediate a negotiation between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and the Turkish military. He said: “President Erdogan reached out and requested the call. And President Trump communicated to him very clearly that the United States of America wants Turkey to stop the invasion, to implement an immediate ceasefire and to begin to negotiate with Kurdish forces in Syria to bring an end to the violence.”
In addition to the American demand, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced the implementation of a series of crippling international sanctions against Turkish officials and government institutions effective immediately . According to the U.S. official, Washington has “sanctioned three of the ministers — the Minister of Defense; the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Energy. We have also sanctioned the Department of Defense and the Department the Ministry of Energy. ” Mnuchin further noted that “As we’ve warned all along, our desire is not to shut down the Turkish economy. Our desire is to see an appropriate response. These sanctions will be very severe on the Turkish economy. We can continue to ramp up these sanctions, so we were very clear in warning the government of the sanctions — we were deliberate last Friday and not putting them in place. The president has been monitoring the situation and the concerns and with that I’ll turn it over the vice president.” On the same topic, Pence clearly stated that “President Trump made it very clear that the United States is going to continue to take actions against Turkey’s economy until they bring the violence to an end.”