U.S. Senate majority leader urges lawmakers to consider sanctions against Turkey

The majority leader of the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell, urged the country’s lawmakers to consider the effects of placing sanctions on Turkey on Thursday after a bill in response to the Turkish military offensive in Syria passed the House, Washington-based news site The Hill reported.

"We should think carefully about what specific effect we want sanctions to have, how Turkey will respond to them and how Russia and others may explore growing tensions between Washington and Ankara," The Hill quoted McConnell as saying.

The House of Representatives on Oct. 29 passed a bill seeking sanctions against Turkey over its offensive in northeast Syria targeting Kurdish forces with an overwhelming majority of votes in favour of the proposal.

"We should seek a better understanding of the specific economic impact that broad sanctions also have. ... Will sanctions rally them to our cause or to [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan’s? Will more targeted sanctions perhaps avoid some of these unintended consequences?” the majority leader said.

Several U.S. lawmakers, including devoted supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump, have been pushing for sanctions against Turkey and have rebuked Trump's decision to withdraw troops from northeast Syria that clear the way for Turkish incursion.