Biden extends sanctions against Turkey over military operation in North and East Syria

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. President Joe Biden extended the sanctions imposed on Turkey by former U.S. President Donald Trump for another year. President Trump imposed the sanctions following its military operation against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in North and East Syria in October 2019 in the wake of his unilateral decision to withdraw from the region.

“The situation in and in relation to Syria, and in particular the actions by the Government of Turkey to conduct a military offensive into northeast Syria, undermines the campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, endangers civilians, and further threatens to undermine the peace, security, and stability in the region, and continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” Biden says in the letter to Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12).

He added that, “I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13894 with respect to the situation in and in relation to Syria.”

The sanctions targeted a number of senior Turkish officials, including the Turkish Ministers of Defense and Energy.

Turkish forces and their proxies continue to violate the agreement signed with the U.S. in 2019 to stop the Turkish invasion. The predominantly Syriac–Assyrian Khabur River Valley area has been targeted particularly hard. On Friday, Turkish shelling damaged an Assyrian cemetery outside Tel Tamr.