Senior Kurdish politician met U.S. senators over Turkey's Syria offensive

Senior Syrian Kurdish politician Ilham Ahmed held talks with U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Chris Van Hollen on Monday over Turkey's operation in northeast Syria, the Kurdish Hawar News Agency (ANHA) reported.

Graham and Hollen introduced a bipartisan bill last week proposing sanctions on Turkey, including measures against state-run Halkbank for breaking sanctions on Iran, sanctions for Turkey's purchase of S-400 missiles from Russia, prohibiting the purchase of sovereign debt from Turkey and prohibiting military assistance to the Turkish army.

Ahmed, the co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political wing of the previously U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), requested a U.S. no-fly zone in northeast Syria and sanctions on Ankara to pressure for an end to the Turkish offensive, according to ANHA.

The Syrian Kurdish politician also warned Graham and Van Hollen about Ankara's plans for what it calls a safe zone, saying that Turkey plans ethnic cleansing in the region.

Following the meeting, Van Hollen said the United States should decide to maintain a sufficient number of U.S. troops in Syria and impose sanctions on Turkey.