The US Senate prepares a severe tightening of sanctions against Turkey

As Turkish military operations in northern Syria against the Kurds of the YPG expand, and President Donald Trump seems determined not to interfere, the United States Senate, for its part, takes up the cause against this offensive. Thus, the Republican senator of South Carolina Lindsey Graham, and the Democratic senator of Maryland Chris Van Hollen, reached an bipartisan agreement to step up sanctions against Turkey, its leaders, its army and its defense industry.

Concretely, senators from both camps will, upon returning from a 2-week Congressional retreat, vote on a series of sanctions targeting Turkish leaders, including President RT Erdogan, the Turkish energy and defense industries. , as well as all companies and people who will provide them with financial, technological or military support. The United States will ban all arms sales to the country, as well as the travel of its political and industrial leaders on American territory. It is nothing more and nothing less than the full application of the measures provided for by the CAATSA law, as applied, for example, against Russia, with the consequences that we know on its Defense industry.

T129 Atak Defense News | Syrian Conflict | International technological cooperation Defense
The Turkish T-129 Attack combat helicopter is a licensed version of the A-129 Mangusta from the Italian manufacturer Agusta

This obviously affects several European Defense companies which collaborate or supply equipment to the Turkish forces or to their Defense industry. In addition to current equipment suppliers, such as KWM/Rheinmetall, TKMS, Agusta-Westland, Airbus DS, several European companies are involved in ongoing development programs, such as BAe and Rolls-Royce in the design of the TF-X fighter, or MBDA in the design of a medium and long range anti-aircraft defense system of local design. Turkish defense industry customers could also find themselves targeted by US sanctions, e.g. Pakistan which ordered corvettes and combat helicopters, or Qatar, which ordered battle tanks Altay

On the European side, although there are numerous declarations condemning the Turkish intervention, no retaliatory measure has yet been announced, neither via Brussels, nor by one of the European chancelleries. Three European countries members of the United Nations Security Council, Germany, Belgium and Poland, as well as the two permanent members Great Britain and France, called for a meeting of this council to deal with the intervention Turkey in northern Syria, a meeting to be held this Thursday. But, as has already been mentioned, European governments fear that by taking measures against Turkey, the latter will continue to keep the 4 million refugees, mainly from Syria, on its territory, and thus trigger a new European migration crisis.

United Nations Security Council Defense News | Syrian Conflict | International technological cooperation Defense
5 European countries members of the Security Council called for a meeting over the Turkish offensive in Syria

The big winner of this crisis could well be, once again, Vladimir Putin, who would see Ankara must move closer to Moscow even more quickly, in the face of the Western arms embargo promised by the American Congress. But we are right to wonder if this end is not, in reality, inevitable, as the mistrust between the Turkish authorities and the West is becoming so severe. Can we really consider Turkey today as a full member of NATO, even though the country would be targeted by sanctions comparable to those targeting Russia?

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