Rep. Cisneros Statement on Turkey Sanctions Bill

October 29, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC –  Today, Representative Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39) released the following statement after the Protect Against Conflict by Turkey (PACT) Act, passed the House of Representatives on a bipartisan basis. The PACT Act sanctions Turkish officials involved in the Syria operation and Turkish banks involved in the defense sector until Turkey ends its military operations in Syria. The bill also requires the Trump Administration to sanction Turkey for purchasing Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems and would prohibit American arms exports to the Turkish Armed Forces conducting operations in Syria.

“I am deeply concerned about the impact of Turkey’s actions in Northern Syria, and President Erdogan must be held accountable,” said Rep. Cisneros. “While I commend President Trump for the successful operation against ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, his withdrawal of U.S. forces and Turkey’s military operations have led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands and countless civilian casualties. The occupation of territory previously controlled by the SDF and United States is now controlled by Russian and Assad Syrian forces, creating a more volatile atmosphere in the region and putting both our national security and the national security of our allies at risk. 

“Moreover, as a Navy veteran, I strongly believe we should never turn our backs on our allies, especially the Syrian Kurds who aided in the fight against ISIS. Republicans and Democrats agree that strong action is needed to respond. This sanctions bill will hold President Erdogan accountable and push the Administration to take corrective action to aid the Syrian Kurdish communities it abandoned.”

Rep. Cisneros is a Navy veteran and serves on the House Armed Services Committee. Rep. Cisneros joined a bipartisan majority of the House in supporting and voting for a resolution to oppose the President’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Northern Syria. Rep. Cisneros also spoke with Phillip Mena about the President’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Northern Syria and the consequences it has had in the region.