WASHINGTON – A U.S. Senate committee backed legislation on Wednesday to impose sanctions on Turkey after its offensive in Syria and purchase of a Russian S-400 missile system, the latest move in the chamber to push Republican President Donald Trump to take a harder line against Ankara.
The House passed 57 pages Turkey sanctions bill in October in an overwhelming, veto-proof 403-16 vote.
A Senate panel on Wednesday advanced a sanctions bill targeting Turkey over its offensive in Syria and its purchase of a Russian missile defense system.
In an 18-4 vote, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the bill despite objections from the Trump administration and Ankara. It will now be up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been critical of the legislation, to bring it to a full vote on the Senate floor.
French President Emmanuel Macron recently said that this was not a legitimate reason for Turkey to buy the Russian weapons system as the Turks rejected an offer for a European and NATO compliant alternative. The Pentagon is also investigating whether Turkey violated agreements with the US regarding American supplied military equipment, with US officials telling CNN that the they believe it’s likely that Turkey supplied its proxies participating in the incursion in Syria with US-provided military gear.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch was willing to give Turkey space to consider a US proposal to address its purchases of the Russian S-400 missile defense system
“I suspect that bill’s gonna pass 98-2 on the floor,” said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch.
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