VP Pence heading for Turkey following President Trump's sanctions, ceasefire call

Just hours after President Trump announced economic sanctions on Turkey for its offensive against ethnic Kurds in Syria, Vice President Pence said outside the White House that Trump had phoned Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and asked for an immediate ceasefire in Syria. ``The United States of America did not give a green light for Turkey to invade Syria,'' Pence told reporters.

Sanctions on the Turkish economy will continue, Pence said "until they bring this violence to an end."

Trump has also directed Pence to "lead a delegation . . . to travel into the region and pursue a cease-fire and negotiated settlement." 

The sanctions were imposed days after the United States pulled its military presence from northern Syria. Perhaps most significantly, the Trump Administration announced that it will freeze negotiations over $100 billion trade deal with Turkey.

In the official White House statement, Trump said that the targets of the sanctions are “against current and former officials of the Government of Turkey and any persons contributing to Turkey’s destabilizing actions in northeast Syria.”

In addition, steel tariffs have been raised by “50 percent.”