Sen. Lindsey Graham, after criticizing President Donald Trump over pulling troops from Syria, on Monday said he blames Turkey and its President Recep Erdogan for the deaths that have happened and warned that sanctions are planned that will cripple the NATO ally's economy unless the violence stops.
"We'll break his economy until he stops the bloodshed," the South Carolina Republican warned on Fox News' "Fox and Friends," while accusing Erdogan of lying to him.
"Three weeks ago I met (with) Erdogan at the U.N. In New York," Graham said Monday. "The safe zone concept to keep Turkey and the Kurds away from each other with an international force was working."
But a week later, "he basically lied to me," said Graham. "The rest is history. (It is) quickly deteriorating inside of Syria."
Graham said Congress will impose crippling sanctions, which will supplement what Trump's administration has done.
"We'll send a signal to Turkey that is unmistakable in the eyes of Erdogan and the world,' he promised.
Graham vowed to speak with several Democrats on Monday, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sens. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J.
He quickly spoke with Pelosi, tweeting that she told him she "supports bipartisan sanctions against Turkey’s outrages in Syria. She also believes we should show support for Kurdish allies and is concerned about the reemergence of ISIS."
Pelosi presented two priorities after her conversation with Graham on Monday: a joint resolution from the House and Senate to reverse Trump’s actions in Syria and "the strongest bipartisan, bicameral sanctions package."
Graham also unveiled a bipartisan agreement with Van Hollen calling for "severe sanctions" against Turkey.
"We have had it with Erdogan," Graham told "Fox and Friends."
"He bought the S-400 from Russia, put the entire NATO alliance at risk. We were trying to accommodate his concerns about the Kurdish threats. The president negotiated a safe zone that is working. Erdogan misjudged President Trump and he sure as hell misjudged me. He will see a united front I haven't seen in a long time. Republicans and Democrats working with the administration will come down on him like a ton of bricks with Iranian type sanctions. He deserves it."
Erdogan, he added, has "made the biggest mistake of his political life," said Graham. "The president has tried to hold this together. The YPG Kurds, in the eyes of Turkey, are a terrorist organization."
Meanwhile, America can't defend itself without partners, said Graham, so it's important to stop ISIS from coming back.
"Turkey's incursion into Syria is making it impossible to keep ISIS prisoners in jail, because the Kurds can't fight," said Graham.
At least 1,000 ISIS fighters have been released, according to Fox News, and Graham said there are more to come unless the United States intervenes.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.