Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Nearly 30 Republican House members have co-sponsored legislation to impose sanctions on Turkey for its military offensive against U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in northern Syria.
Congresswoman and House GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney announced the move Thursday, stating that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "must face serious consequences" for attacking the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, who were instrumental U.S. partners for over a decade in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria.
"If Turkey wants to be treated like an ally, it must begin behaving like one," she said in a statement. "They must be sanctioned for their attacks on our Kurdish allies."
Turkey, an important NATO partner, began Operation Peace Spring on Wednesday, shelling and sending troops into neighboring Syria to rid its border of Kurdish forces, who it considers to be terrorists.
Since the attack began, Turkey's Ministry of National Defense said its forces killed 228 Kurdish soldiers while humanitarian and activists groups say at least 11 civilians have been killed and 70,000 people in the region have been displaced in the past 30 hours.
The Turkish assault follows Trump on Sunday announcing he would be removing the remaining U.S. troops from the region following a phone call with Erdogan.
Trump's decision has been met with bipartisan criticism, as many see it as abandoning a U.S. ally in a time of need.
Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon, one of 29 co-sponsors of the sanctions legislation, said Turkey should be held responsible for its "malicious actions" against the Kurds.
"The Kurds have spilled their blood alongside ours for the last 16 years and we absolutely can't abandon them now," he said.
Cheney's announcement came a day after a similar bipartisan bill was introduced by Sens. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., that would freeze all U.S. assets of Turkey's political leadership and bar the United States for selling the country military equipment or technology.
Trump responded to the criticism Thursday on Twitter, saying he has been talking to both sides in order to end the war.
"I am trying to end the ENDLESS WARS," he said.