ISTANBUL - U.S. sanctions on Turkey over its Syrian military offensive are being dismissed by the political leadership in Ankara, as financial markets shrug off the measures.
Sanctions were announced against Turkish officials on Monday as negotiations on a $100 billion trade deal ended. While a tariff on Turkish steel was doubled to 50%, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said the measures would remain until Turkey declared a cease-fire with the Syrian Kurdish militia, the YPG.
Last week, Turkish forces launched a major military attack into Syria against the YPG, considered by Ankara to be linked to terrorism inside Turkey. The YPG has been a U.S. ally in the fight against the Islamic State terror group. With over 100,000 people displaced by the fighting, and fears mounting that the operation is opening the door to a resurgence of the Islamic State group, international condemnation continues to grow.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dismissed the Trump administration's measures. "We have seen all the threats from sanctions to embargoes, just because we fight against terrorism," he said.
Erdogan later pledged to continue with the operation until "all our objectives had been achieved."
Erdogan's defiant stance comes as Turkish financial markets were mostly unaffected by the sanctions. Analysts say sanctions were widely seen in Turkey as symbolic and posed little threat to financial institutions or the broader economy.
U.S. President Donald Trump's previous increase of Turkish steel tariffs a year ago over the jailing of American pastor Andrew Brunson plunged the Turkish economy into crisis. Brunson subsequently was released; however, some analysts say the Turkish financial markets are more resilient.
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