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House Republicans Prepare to Introduce Sanctions Against Turkey

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Divisions remain strong over President  Donald Trump’s recent decision to remove troops from Northern Syria.

ZeroHedge reported that U.S. House members are seeking to introduce sanctions against Turkey as a response to its latest campaign into Northern Syria. The Turkish army has ramped up air and artillery strikes along this border according to certain reports.

29 House Republicans vowed to back sanction measures against the NATO ally and are introducing legislation to do so.

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In the meantime, tens of thousands of civilians have left their homes in the area, while Turkish forces have surrounded the border towns of Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad. These developments have worried humanitarian groups who believe that this could provoke an outflow of hundreds of thousands of refugees. These aid groups estimate that 70,000 people have been forced out of their homes so far as violence cranks up.

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Last Friday, Reuters detailed the growing number of casualties:

Turkish forces have seized nine villages near Ras al Ain and Tel Abyad, said Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war. It reported at least 54 fighters with the SDF, 42 Turkey-backed Syrian rebels and 17 civilians had been killed.

Turkey says two Turkish soldiers have been killed. Turkish authorities said on Friday two people were killed and three wounded by mortar shelling in the border town of Suruc, while eight were killed and 35 wounded in a mortar and rocket attack on Turkey’s border town of Nusaybin.

Last week, staunch neoconservative Senator Lindsey Graham criticized the White House for giving Erdogan leeway to mount an offensive, declaring it “will be the biggest mistake of his presidency” if Trump does not reverse course by keeping Turkey in check.  In the meantime, bipartisan actors are working to draft sanctions against Turkey in the Senate.

House Republicans like Liz Cheney declared that “President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan and his regime must face serious consequences for mercilessly attacking our Kurdish allies in northern Syria.” She added that Russia could be another concern in the region: “Congress has long had concerns about the [Erdogan] regime’s cooperation with US adversaries, such as Russia.”

President Trump has remained cautious about handling Turkey.

Last Thursday, he tweeted three courses of action: “Send in thousands of troops and win militarily, hit Turkey very hard financially and with sanctions, or mediate a deal between Turkey and the Kurds.”

He then told reporters at a campaign rally in Minnesota, “I hope it’s going to be the last one.”

During the rally, Trump boldly declared that it was time to “bring our soldiers back home” and followed up by saying, “These wars produce only chaos and bloodshed.”

Trump has the right instincts here. Hopefully, he follows through.

However, knowing the power of the military-industrial complex, Trump will likely have his hands full when trying to restore sanity to U.S. foreign policy by withdrawing from the Middle East.

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Texas Political Establishment Attempts to Derail Shelley Luther’s Campaign

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The special election for Texas’ Senate District 30 is on pace to be one of the most heated races in the Lone Star State.

At a candidate forum on September 18, 2020, Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who was jailed for opening her business in defiance of Governor Greg Abbott’s shutdown order, confronted outgoing State Senator Pat Fallon.

Fallon vacated his seat and is now backing a successor in State Representative Drew Springer.

“We don’t want somebody who’s going to be at odds with our Republican governor,” Fallon said September 18 at the Grayson County Republican Women’s Club.

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Fallon added:

I didn’t support some of the things that he has done about opening up. … So, he’s made some mistakes. He’s our Republican governor, the 80/20 rule … because you’re not going to get any bills passed unless the governor signs them.

“Let me make something clear. I am accountable to my fellow citizens in Senate District 30. Not our Governor,” Luther responded on September 19 on Facebook:

This is exactly what is wrong with Austin. Our politicians are more loyal to Abbott than us, even when they disagree with him.

I will work with Governor Abbott when he is fighting to protect the liberty of Texans, and I will oppose him when he pushes unilateral dictates that shut down our local businesses.

Fallon and Luther had a tense exchange, which was caught on video.

“You want me to go all in on this race?” Fallon questioned Luther. “I have been 5 percent in on this race. You want me to go all in on it, I’m welcome to.”

“This has become a straight-up fight between Abbott and the ‘Kumbaya’ Professional Political Class vs. the grassroots and people who remember what limited government and principles should look like,” opined conservative activist Mike Openshaw.

“Respectfully, being willing to be jailed for fighting over-reaching government shows principle; that counts for something, Patrick,” Openshaw continued.

Luther has recently received endorsements from conservative Collin County Judge Chris Hill and Young Conservatives of Texas. Springer, on the other hand, received an endorsement from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which asserted that Luther was going down a “far right” path.

A Republican is expected to carry the senate district, which may still require a runoff if the leading candidate does not get enough votes during the first round of the special election.

Election Day will be on September 29.

Luther is viewed as the truly conservative option and many believe she could help break the political status quo in Austin that has kept conservative legislation from ever being passed.

 

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