Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today issued the following statement:

“Lifting sanctions on Turkey is yet another disastrous move by a President seemingly intent on destroying American leadership in the world and bowing to authoritarian leaders and dictators. President Trump gave President Erdogan a green light to invade northern Syria and attack our Kurdish partners. Today, Trump’s announcement makes it abundantly clear that he has no intention of holding Erdogan accountable for the atrocities that have ensued as a result of his catastrophic decision. With the Administration’s sham “ceasefire,” yesterday’s agreement between Putin and Erdogan, and today’s lifting of sanctions, Turkey effectively has full reign to continue its bloody campaign of ethnic cleansing against our Kurdish partners.

“We can accept nothing less than a complete halt to Turkey’s attacks against the Syrian Democratic Forces, Kurdish and Arab civilians, and other religious or ethnic minority communities. The President should be insisting that Turkish forces withdraw without delay, but instead, he’s allowing Erdogan to expel tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds from their ancestral homes. It’s a disgrace and an embarrassment to America’s history of standing by our friends and allies.

“Given President Trump’s failure to provide U.S. leadership, it is now up to Congress to press Turkey to reverse its terrible policy. We must hold President Erdogan accountable for his horrific crimes against the Kurds, and we must demand answers from the President for the shame he has brought to our nation.”

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