The Trump administration and lawmakers from both parties are scrambling to slap Turkey with biting sanctions in a desperate bid to stop Ankara from annihilating the United States’ Kurdish allies in Syria. But dismayed Senate Republicans are conceding that they expect sanctions to fail to deter Turkey from targeting the Kurds and said the damage to America’s reputation was already done.
“People are just grasping to come up with something,” said John Thune, the No. 2 ranking Senate Republican. “This was a mistake.”…
Sen. Marco Rubio said sanctions, even if they do harm Turkey’s economy, could boost Erdoğan domestically. His authoritarian regime has been under pressure from a public that has grown unhappy with leadership. But defying the U.S. and waging war against the Kurds could revive his political standing.
Sanctions “aren’t going to change anything,” the Florida Republican said. “There is no way to unravel it, there is no way to undo some of the more significant damage it’s done.”