Mike Norris Co-Editor The American Dossier President Donald Trumps administration is set to impose economic sanctions on Turkey over its invasion of northern Syria. In an interview with ABC Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that Trump had authorized very powerful" new sanctions against Turkey. Mnuchin said the sanctions were ready to go at a moments notice and that they would destroy the Turkish economy. Less than an hour later Trump tweeted that he was working with members of Congress about imposing powerful Sanctions on Turkey. Stay tuned! President Trump wrote. Last week Trump approved the withdrawal of U.S. forces from northern Syria prompting Turkey to launch a military offensive against Kurdish forces there. Turkey aims to neutralize the Kurdish Peoples Protection Units (YPG") militia whom they consider to be a terrorist organization aligned with Kurdish insurgents in Turkey. However the YPG is the main component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF") Washingtons key ally in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS") in Syria. Turkey wants to force U.S.-allied Kurdish forces to withdraw from these areas and they plan to resettle more than 3.6 million Syrian refugees in the area. On Friday Turkish forces launched multiple artillery rounds near a U.S. Special Operations outpost overlooking the town of Kobane in northeastern Syria. A NATO ally Turkish forces have known for months that Americans were there raising questions about why Turkey is trying to push U.S. troops farther from the border. One Army officer who has deployed to northeastern Syria and has knowledge of the situation said that multiple 155mm mortar rounds were fired from Turkeys side of the border and that they bracketed" both sides of the U.S. outpost. Exploiting the unrest on Friday ISIS militants set off a car bomb in Qamishli and another outside a prison in Hassakeh on Saturday. On Sunday prisoners affiliated with ISIS fled the detention facility in Ain Issa after Turkish shellfire hit the prison. Jelal Ayaf a senior official at the site told local media that 859 detainees escaped from the section of the camp housing foreign nationals. The humanitarian agency Save the Children" confirmed that the prisoners all fled the facility. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR") said on Sunday that a Turkish airstrike killed 14 people in a convoy heading to the city of Ras al-Ain. A journalist was among the dead according to SOHR. On Sunday the United Nations announced that over 130000 people have been displaced from the Syrian border towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain and surrounding areas as a result of the fighting. 64 civilians have been killed since Turkey launched its invasion. Amid rapidly changing dynamics Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that the remaining 1000 U.S. troops in northern Syria would be withdrawn. Esper said that Washington had learned in the last 24 hours that Turkey likely intend to expand their attack further south than originally planned and to the west. The safe-zone Turkey had proposed was to span a stretch of territory 120 km wide and 30km deep inside Syria. On Sunday the SDF announced that they had reached an agreement with the Iranian- and Russian-backed government of President Bashar al-Assad to deploy the Syrian army along the length of the border with Turkey. An agreement has been reached with the Syrian government whose duty it is to protect the countrys borders and preserve Syrian sovereignty for the Syrian Army to enter and deploy along the Syrian-Turkish border to help the SDF stop this aggression" by Turkey the SDF said in a statement. The deal followed three days of negotiations brokered by Russia between the Syrian government and the SDF which had reached the conclusion that it could no longer count on the US according to a Kurdish intelligence official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the news media. The deal will bring forces loyal to Assad back into towns and cities that have been under Kurdish control for seven years. The U.S. has successfully levied sanctions and tariffs against Turkey in the recent past using them to pressure Ankara to return an American pastor on trial for terrorism charges. Although sanctions are most likely Americas effective weapon the U.S. and its European allies could also initiate arms sales bans and threaten to prosecute for war crimes. Halting arms sales to Turkey is something a number of European countries have already done. On Saturday France said that it had suspended all weapon sales to Turkey and warned Ankara that its offensive in northern Syria threatened European security. The White House could also threaten to prosecute Turkish citizens over war crimes committed during the offensive. Over the weekend reports emerged of Turkish-backed militias carrying out summary executions of civilians. In one video published by The New York Times two militiamen restrained a Kurdish prisoner on the ground with his hands tied behind his back and shot him multiple times. The State Department also confirmed reports that Havrin Khalaf the civilian secretary general of the Future Syria Party was captured and killed by Turkish-backed fighters. The U.S. is looking into the reports of Khalafs death a State Department spokesman said adding that Washington found the reports disturbing. Turkeys Foreign Ministry released a statement saying that Turkey would retaliate against any steps aimed at countering its efforts to fight terrorism in response to the announcement of possible U.S. sanctions. After serving as an Airborne Infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division Mike attended Florida State University where he received his Bachelors Degree in Political Science and George Washington University where he received his Masters in Political Management. Mike is currently attending the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law where he is pursuing his Juris Doctorate. Since 2004 Mike has worked in the Florida Senate where he was one of only two Chiefs of Staff under 30 and in the Michigan Senate where he served as the Legislative Aide to the Assistant Minority Floor Leader. The 2018 election cycle was Mikes eighth as a Political Consultant. Mike previously served as the Secretary and Vice President of the Tampa Bay Young Republicans Regional Vice Chair for the Florida Federated Young Republicans and attended the 2012 Republican National Convention as an Alternate Delegate. He currently lives in Grosse Pointe Woods Michigan with his rescue Pit Bull Ike. http://www.whitefalconconsult.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/norrismichaelj/
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