Lidl to invest £15BILLION in UK supermarkets over next five years

Lidl vows to sell more British meat and fresh produce as bosses reveal they will invest £15 BILLION in UK supermarkets over next five years

  • Lidl has stepped up its attack on big-four supermarkets with new investment
  • It is opening up to 60 stores over the next year as it ploughs in £15billion 

Lidl is stepping up its assault on the so-called ‘big four’ British supermarkets after announcing it will plough a further £15billion into its UK business in the next five years.

It emerged yesterday that Tesco, Sainbury’s, Asda and Morrisons now hold just 62.7% share of the market, their lowest combined figure in 15 years.

The budget insurgents into the market, Lidl and Aldi, now have a 6% and 8% share respectively, which they are aggressively trying to increase.

Lidl has announced it is opening 50 to 60 new stores this year and is spending £500million in London alone over the next five years as it tries to take on smaller high street stores.

Lidl will plough £15billion into its British business in the next five years as its assault on the so-called ‘big four’ supermarkets continues

Bosses today also pledged to increase sales of British sourced fresh meat, poultry and fresh produce by more than 10% across the next 12 months and introduce longer contracts with suppliers to provide stability.  

The decision follows a recent commitment from Lidl to source 100% of its fresh poultry from UK farms.

Last week bosses also unveiled a new £70 million warehouse in Motherwell, Scotland, and on Tuesday it was revealed that sales grew 8.2% in the 12 weeks to October 6 compared with a year ago, according to Kantar. 

UK’s top supermarkets by market share 

1. Tesco – 27%

2. Sainsbury’s – 15.3%

3. Asda – 15%

4. Morrisons – 9.9%

5. Aldi – 8.1%

6. Co-op – 6.6%

7. Lidl – 6%

8. Waitrose – 5.1%

9. Iceland – 2.1%

10. Ocado – 1.4%

*Market share in the six weeks up to October 2019. Source, Kantar

Lidl has also confirmed it is planning to move into online sales, after it was spotted trying to recruit a digital project manager.

Speaking today, Lidl’s chief commercial officer Ryan McDonnell said: ‘Our long-term partnerships with farmers are all the more important during economic uncertainty, and with 2019 marking our 25th anniversary, we are more committed than ever to supporting our suppliers here in Britain and offering customers British-sourced products in the future.’

In March 2017, the discount supermarket also signed the National Farmers’ Union’s Back British Farming Charter and has spent several years playing up its British credentials.

Tom Hulme, who runs AC Hulme & Sons, which has been Lidl’s main supplier of apples and pears for more than 10 years, said: ‘We wouldn’t have even contemplated upgrading our packhouse if it wasn’t for our confidence in Lidl’s future custom.

‘The company has stayed true to its word with its growing orders over the years, giving us certainty in an industry that faces many uncertainties – like the British weather.’ 

Lidl opened its first UK store in 1994 and now has 760 stores and 13 warehouses across the country. 

Lidl is advertising for a digital project manager who will be tasked with ‘helping to deliver a new online platform with the aim of acquiring new customers and driving online sales’

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Russia says it will push for agreements between Syria, Kurds: RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia will encourage Syria’s government and Kurdish forces to reach agreements and implement them following a Turkish operation in Syria’s northeast, the RIA news agency cited Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Wednesday.

Speaking in Russia’s Black Sea city of Sochi, Lavrov said the Turkish operation had allowed captured Islamic State fighters to escape. He added that Moscow would support security cooperation between Turkish and Syrian forces along their border.

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Nephew tells investigators aunt shot by cop in her home had gun in her hand: Warrant

An 8-year-old boy who witnessed his aunt being fatally shot by a Fort Worth, Texas, police officer who fired through a window of their house told investigators she had retrieved a handgun from her purse and pointed it toward a window when she was killed, according to an arrest warrant issued for the officer.

But police officials said 28-year-old Atatiana “Tay” Jefferson, the victim of the shooting early Saturday, was within her rights to protect herself and her nephew when she heard noises in her backyard and went to the window to investigate.

The arrest warrant for now-former Fort Worth officer Aaron Dean, 34, was released on Tuesday, a day after he abruptly resigned from the police force and was charged with murder, stemming from the shooting of Jefferson. Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus said Dean quit the force before he had a chance to fire him.

“I realize that no action we take can replace the loss suffered here. I’m deeply sorry for what occurred,” Kraus said during a news conference on Tuesday to announce Dean’s arrest. “Human life is a precious thing, and should not have been taken from Ms. Jefferson. This incident has eroded the trust that we have built with our community and we must now work even harder to ensure that trust is restored.”

The arrest warrant affidavit states that Dean and his partner arrived at Jefferson’s home about 2:30 a.m. on Saturday and never knocked on the door or identified themselves as police as they entered the backyard of the home and Dean opened fire almost as soon as he saw Jefferson standing at the bedroom window peering out.

After being shot, Jefferson “yelled out in pain, and fell to the ground,” according to the affidavit.

A neighbor had earlier called the police department’s non-emergency line to ask that a welfare check be conducted on Jefferson’s home because he noticed the front door was wide open, the neighbor, James Smith, told ABC affiliate station WFAA in Dallas.

“I called my police department for a welfare check,” Smith told WFAA. “No domestic violence, no arguing, nothing that they should have been concerned about as far as them coming with guns drawn to my neighbor’s house.”

But on Tuesday, Chief Kraus told reporters that the officers believed they were responding to an “open structure” call, which would have required them to take more tactical precautions, including parking around the corner from the house.

“The information came from the neighbor to the call takers and then while it was relayed to the dispatch it was determined to be an open structure call,” Kraus said in response to a question from ABC News. “I can’t tell you specifically if it was the dispatcher, but that’s something we’re looking into.”

In the arrest warrant affidavit, Jefferson’s young nephew, Zion, told investigators that he and his aunt, who had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, were playing a video game in a back bedroom of their home when they heard noises outside.

“She took her handgun from her purse,” the affidavit reads. “(The nephew) said Jefferson raised her handgun, pointed toward the window, then Jefferson was shot and fell to the ground.”

Body camera footage released by the police department shows Dean approaching a rear window of the home with his gun drawn. The officer sees the woman through the window, shouts, “Put your hands up, show me your hands,” and fires one shot. Kraus confirmed that Dean never identified himself as police.

“Perceiving a threat, the officer drew his duty weapon and fired one shot striking the person inside the residence,” a statement from the police department reads.

Dean’s partner, identified in the warrant as L. Darch, told investigators she never saw Jefferson raise the gun before Dean opened fire.

“Officer Darch said that they went into the backyard and Officer Dean was standing between her and the house and she could only see Jefferson’s face through the window when Officer Dean discharged his weapon one time,” the arrest warrant affidavit reads.

Dean was arrested by a team of Fort Worth police officers on Monday evening at his lawyer’s office, Kraus said. He was booked at the Tarrant County Jail and released on $200,000 bond late Monday night.

Efforts by ABC News to reach Dean and his attorney for comment have not been successful.

The shooting immediately sparked outrage and protests from community members and Jefferson’s family.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price issued a public apology on Monday, saying, “there is nothing that could justify what happened on Saturday morning. Nothing.”

While Jefferson’s relatives expressed relief that Dean had been arrested and charged with murder, an attorney for the family said Tuesday, “That’s not enough.”

“We need more than a single arrest. We need appropriate prosecution, an effective verdict and proper sentencing,” said attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing Jefferson’s family in pending civil litigation.”

Merritt said others in the police department need to be held accountable.

“We need to go further up the stream. It’s time that we stop pulling babies out of the river and go further up the stream to see who’s putting them in there in the first place,” Merritt said referring to department policies and protocols that failed to stop Dean from using ill-advised lethal force.

Calling the circumstances a “pivotal moment for the city,” Mayor Price said she had ordered the creation of a “third-party panel of national experts to review this department” ‘s policies and procedures.

Fort Worth City Manager David Cooke announced he will assemble an independent review board for the police department and will begin interviewing candidates for an independent police monitor.

Chief Kraus became overcome with emotion on Tuesday as he described the toll the shooting has taken on the morale of police officers.

“The officers are hurting,” said Kraus, appearing to tear up. “I’ve been out there on patrol and since this occurred … the officers they come up and hug. It’s very emotional because the officers try hard every day to try to make this city better.

“They’re out there trying to build these relationships and I likened it to a bunch of ants building an anthill and then somebody comes along with a hose and washes it away and they just have to start from scratch,” he said.

He pleaded with citizens of Fort Worth to “please do not let the actions of one officer reflect on the other 1,700.”

“There are absolutely no excuses for the incident and the person responsible will be held accountable,” he said. “Ms. Jefferson’s family and our community will have the last word and the courts will speak on her behalf.”

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U.N. peacekeeping mission to Haiti ends after 15 years with mixed legacy

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – The United Nations ended its 15-year-long peacekeeping and justice mission to stabilize Haiti on Tuesday with a mixed legacy highlighted by the fact the country is entering its fifth week of violent anti-government protests.

In 2004, the United Nations sent thousands of soldiers and police officers to restore order after a rebellion toppled then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Haiti was wracked by political and gang violence.

Two years ago, with the country more secure, it withdrew military personnel and said it would focus more on the justice system and law and order, with U.N. police officers training Haiti’s national police.

But critics question the extent to which the United Nations, which will retain a smaller political mission in Port-au-Prince, achieved its objectives of helping Haiti improve political stability and strengthen its rule of law institutions.

Schools and businesses have been shuttered in recent weeks due to protests calling for the resignation of President Jovenel Moise. Demonstrators are angry over allegations of corruption by public officials and dire economic conditions in Haiti, which remains the poorest country in the Americas.

In one recent protest, thousands marched to the U.N. headquarters in the capital Port-au-Prince to demand it stop supporting Moise and complain about its alleged disrespect of Haitian sovereignty.

A U.N. statement released on Tuesday cited Jean-Pierre Lacroix, U.N. under-secretary-general for peace operations, saying the U.N. mission had fostered a better environment for democratic processes to take root but more political solutions were needed.

Other controversies have also dogged the United Nations in Haiti, including the introduction of cholera to the island and sexual abuse claims.

An epidemic of the waterborne disease broke out after peacekeepers accidentally dumped infected sewage into a river during recovery efforts after an earthquake in 2010 killed more than 300,000 people.

The United Nations has not accepted legal responsibility for the outbreak, which killed more than 10,000, although in late 2016 outgoing U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apologized to Haiti for the organization’s role and announced a $400 million fund to help affected Haitians.

But to date-the U.N. Haiti Cholera Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund has only raised about $10.5 million and a quarter of that has been spent, online U.N. figures show.

Meanwhile U.N. peacekeepers in Haiti have on several occasions been accused of rape. In 2011, then Uruguayan President Jose Mujica apologized for the alleged rape of an 18-year-old Haitian man by Uruguayan U.N. peacekeeping troops.

A year later, two Pakistanis were found guilty by a Pakistani military court of raping a 14-year old Haitian boy.

The United Nations and aid organizations have also faced criticism for slow reconstruction efforts due to a lack of coordination and bypassing the government and businesses.

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Erdogan says Turkey will never declare ceasefire in northern Syria: NTV

ANKARA (Reuters) – President Tayyip Erdogan told U.S. President Donald Trump that Turkey will never declare a ceasefire in northeastern Syria, and added that he was not worried about U.S. sanctions over Ankara’s offensive, broadcaster NTV reported on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters on a flight back from Baku, Erdogan said talks with Washington and Moscow on Syria’s Kobani and Manbij towns continued, and added it was “not negative” for the Syrian army to enter Manbij as long as militants in the area were cleared, NTV said.

He also said he told Trump that Turkey would “not negotiate with a terrorist organization” in response to Trump’s mediation offer.

Separately, the Turkish presidency said on Tuesday that Erdogan told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call that Turkey’s incursion into northeastern Syria would contribute to counter-terrorism efforts, Syria’s territorial integrity, and a political solution process.

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TikTok is reportedly poaching Facebook’s employees

 

  • TikTok recently opened an office in Mountain View, California, in a location formerly occupied by Facebook’s messaging app WhatsApp.
  • TikTok has hired more than two dozen employees from Facebook, along with staffers from Hulu, Apple, and Google, CNBC reports.
  • In 2018, Facebook launched a video app called Lasso to directly compete with TikTok, which is estimated to have been downloaded fewer than 500,000 times, compared to TikTok’s 500 million plus.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories. 

The popular video-sharing app TikTok opened a Silicon Valley office in Mountain View only a few minutes away from Facebook’s Palo Alto headquarters, CNBC’s Salvador Rodriguez reported this week.

TikTok seems to be moving in on Facebook’s territory figuratively and literally — it now occupies the office that Facebook’s messaging app WhatsApp used to call home.

TikTok is also poaching Facebook’s employees, according to CNBC, hiring more than two dozens former Facebook employees since 2018. One person at TikTok told CNBC that the company offers salaries up to 20% higher than Facebook’s to draw experienced employees from its competitors. TikTok has also reportedly hired employees from Apple, Google, Hulu, Snap, and other tech companies during this high-growth period.

Although Facebook hasn’t officially listed TikTok as a competitor in financial documents, the company seems to be aware of the growing threat from the short-form video app. In November 2018, Facebook launched Lasso, a standalone video app that was nearly identical to TikTok. Lasso didn’t take off; Sensor Tower estimates it’s been downloaded 420,000 outside of China, compared to TikTok’s more than 500 million users.

Facebook’s Instagram also appears to be working on a TikTok competitor. Discovered by reverse app engineer Jane Manchum Wong, the tool will be called “Clips,” and it will allow users to combine short videos and add music, mimicking TikTok.

While the number of TikTok’s daily users are nowhere near Facebook’s, the app’s parent company ByteDance is growing quickly. ByteDance has been described as “China’s Facebook,” and it is the highest valued private company in the world at $75 billion. ByteDance launched the Chinese version of TikTok, Douyin, in 2016, and the international version under the name TikTok a year later. In late 2017, the company purchased another video sharing app, Musical.ly, and combined them in August 2018. By September 2019, TikTok was the top free non-gaming app in the US.

In leaked audio published by The Verge, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the company’s plans to compete with TikTok, “So yeah. I mean, TikTok is doing well…we’re trying to first see if we can get it to work in countries where TikTok is not already big before we go and compete with TikTok in countries where they are big.” 

See Also:

  • Mark Zuckerberg responds to report he’s been hosting private dinners with prominent conservatives like Tucker Carlson and Lindsey Graham by telling people they should try listening to ‘a wide range of viewpoints’
  • Facebook made the unusual decision to push back directly on Elizabeth Warren and her criticism of the company, but its attempt to defend itself backfired spectacularly
  • Facebook’s cryptocurrency project suffers massive blow as MasterCard, Visa, eBay, and others withdraw from Libra

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DUP leader says 'no' to mooted Brexit compromise on tariffs

DUBLIN (Reuters) – The small Northern Irish party supporting Britain’s minority government insisted on Tuesday that the region must remain within the United Kingdom customs union as part of any Brexit deal and not have to follow tariffs set by the European Union.

While Britain and the EU made headway in eleventh-hour talks on Tuesday to reach a deal, the Democratic Unionist Party’s 10 lawmakers in London will play a key role in deciding whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson can pass any deal in parliament.

The main obstacle is around customs, with diplomats and officials saying London is proposing that Northern Ireland stays in the UK customs area but that EU tariffs are applied on all goods crossing from mainland Britain to the island.

Asked if the DUP could support an arrangement where Northern Ireland would stay in the UK customs territory but essentially adhere to the EU customs rules on tariffs, DUP leader Arlene Foster said “no because we would have no say in those tariffs and in relation to how those tariffs are set.”

“We want to get a deal but it has to be a deal that respects the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom and that means all of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland included,” Foster told BBC Northern Ireland.

“I think it’s very important that we say that we must remain within the United Kingdom customs union, it’s a principle that has always been there and a principle that will forever be there. We have to be entirely within the United Kingdom.”

“What we have to see is flexibility from the European Union, just as we have shown flexibility around the single market regulations… People have to get real and have to understand that we are part of the United Kingdom, will remain part of the United Kingdom and there has to be respect for that.”

The EU has many doubts about the tariff plan, saying the system is too complicated, untested and not detailed enough at this stage.

It believes the only possible deal to be had at an EU summit this week is a return to a ‘backstop’ solution – already rejected by Britain – of keeping Northern Ireland in the EU customs area.

On the idea of a Northern Ireland-only backstop, Foster, who expects her party to engage with Johnson later on Tuesday, told Irish national broadcaster RTE: “When I hear talk of a Northern Ireland backstop, as I did in your headlines, I think things are very far off the mark in terms of all of that.”

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Shrimp and Chemicals: What You Need to Know

Whether farmed or wild caught, the cheaper the shrimp, the more likely it is to have been treated with chemicals, particularly sodium tripolyphosphate and sodium bisulfite.

Sodium bisulfite is used to keep shrimp shells from undergoing melanosis (also called black spot), which is a darkening of the head and shell after the shrimp are harvested and exposed to oxygen. This reaction is harmless — think of it as the marine equivalent to the browning of apple flesh after you cut it.

The chemical is part of the slushy brine mix used to store the shrimp on most fishing boats before they make it to shore for further processing. It may also be used on farmed shrimp when the processing facility is far from the farm.

Adding sodium bisulfite doesn’t actually keep the shrimp from deteriorating, though; it’s purely for aesthetics. American consumers want their shrimp to be perfectly pink, without any shadows.

But a little melanosis is not necessarily a bad thing. Steve Philips, seafood manager at Wegmans, said melanosis does not affect flavor — and in fact it can show that the shrimp are chemical-free (which is one of the criteria for all the shrimp sold at the supermarket chain).

“The absence of melanosis is not the presence of freshness,” Mr. Philips said, “and the presence of melanosis is the absence of chemicals.”

Tripolyphosphate is the industry’s way of putting its finger on the scale. Often also used with scallops, the chemical causes seafood to absorb water, increasing its weight by anywhere from 7 percent to 10 percent.

Shrimp treated with tripolyphosphate cooks differently from untreated shrimp. With such a high moisture content, they steam rather than sear when you try to sauté them. They also have a bouncy, rubbery texture and stay oddly translucent even after cooking.

Jim Gossen, the president of the Gulf Seafood Foundation, compares adding tripolyphosphate to seafood to adding water to ham.

“You can buy deli ham that’s 40 percent water, and it’s flavorless,” he said. “Or you can buy prosciutto.”

Tripolyphosphate and sodium bisulfite are considered safe in low doses by the Food and Drug Administration. However, about 1 percent of the general population in the United States has a sensitivity to sulfites.

Tripolyphosphate is generally added to shrimp after it’s been peeled, so to avoid it, try to buy shell-on shrimp and peel it yourself. (Save the shells for shrimp stock.) This is not true of sodium bisulfite, though.

You could also read the fine print on the packaging: Chemicals are required to be listed on labels, which you can find on bags of shrimp pulled directly from the freezer case.

As for the piles of shrimp on ice you find at supermarkets and fishmongers, the only way to know for sure if they’re chemical-free is to ask — and hope the person behind the counter knows the answer.

Follow NYT Food on Twitter and NYT Cooking on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. Get regular updates from NYT Cooking, with recipe suggestions, cooking tips and shopping advice.

Melissa Clark has been a columnist for the Food section since 2007. She reports on food trends, creates recipes and appears in cooking videos linked to her column, A Good Appetite. She has also written dozens of cookbooks. @MelissaClark Facebook

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Germany's Scholz: No-deal Brexit would damage Britain the most

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Finance Minster Olaf Scholz told Reuters on Tuesday that a no-deal Brexit should be avoided as such an outcome would damage Britain the most.

The European Union gave Britain until the end of Tuesday to work out a Brexit deal that can be approved at a leaders’ summit this week but said a delay to the Oct. 31 scheduled departure date and a breakdown of talks were also still on the cards.

“It would be good if there was a last-minute agreement,” Scholz said in a Reuters interview. “A no-deal Brexit would damage Britain the most, but it would also impact everybody else.”

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Trump sanctions fail to slow Turkey assault; Syrian troops move on Manbij

MANBIJ, Syria (Reuters) – Turkey ignored U.S. sanctions and pressed on with its assault on northern Syria on Tuesday, while the Russia-backed Syrian army roared into one of the most hotly contested cities abandoned by U.S. forces in Donald Trump’s retreat.

Reuters journalists accompanied Syrian government forces who entered the centre of the city of Manbij, a flashpoint where U.S. troops had previously conducted joint patrols with Turkey.

Russian and Syrian flags were flying from a building on the city outskirts, and from a convoy of military vehicles.

U.S. forces announced they had pulled out of the city.

A week after reversing U.S. policy and moving troops out of the way to allow Turkey to attack Washington’s Syrian allies, Trump announced a package of sanctions to punish Ankara.

But the measures – mainly a hike in steel tariffs and a pause in trade talks – were less robust than financial markets had expected, and Trump’s critics derided them as too feeble to have an impact.

The Turkish lira, which had fallen on the expectation of tougher U.S. measures, recovered after the sanctions were announced, as did its bond and stock markets, with traders noting that Trump had spared Turkish banks.

Trump’s unexpected decision to withhold protection from Syria’s Kurds after a phone call with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan a week ago swiftly upended five years of U.S. policy in the Middle East.

The withdrawal gives a free hand to Washington’s adversaries in the world’s deadliest ongoing war, namely Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies.

The United States announced on Sunday it was withdrawing its entire force of 1,000 troops from northern Syria. Its former Kurdish allies immediately forged a new alliance with Assad’s Russia-backed government, inviting the army into towns across the breadth of their territory.

Related Coverage

  • Syrian rebel force: it was mostly Kurdish militants who entered Manbij
  • Turkey detains four Kurdish mayors in dawn raids

TROOPS ENTER MANBIJ

Russian-backed Syrian forces moved swiftly to fill the void left by departing Americans from Manbij west of the Euphrates river, which Turkey has vowed to capture.

“We are out of Manbij,” said Colonel Myles B Caggins, spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Syria. Troops “are executing a deliberate withdrawal from northeast Syria.”

A group of journalists accompanied by Syrian army personnel journeyed into Manbij city where upon their arrival a group of people gathered, waving the Syrian flag and pictures of Assad.

However the reporters left when gunfire was heard and a group of some 10 young men in Kurdish YPG uniforms began breaking cameras and yelling.

Syrian state media said SDF fighters had opened fire on a march organised by the people of Manbij to welcome the army.

Trump’s pullout ends joint U.S.-Turkish patrols of the Manbij area under a deal aimed to persuade Turkey not to invade.

Syrian state television broadcast footage of what it said was government troops entering Manbij on Tuesday, under their new deal with the Kurds. A resident inside the city told Reuters the Syrian troops were on its outskirts. Turkey-backed Syrian fighters said they would continue their advance towards Manbij.

A Reuters cameraman on the Turkish frontier reported heavy bombardment on Tuesday morning of the Syrian border town of Ras al Ain, where a spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces reported a fierce battle was taking place.

SANCTIONS ANNOUNCEMENT “FALLS VERY SHORT”

Trump has defended his reversal of U.S. policy as part of a plan to withdraw the United States from “endless” wars in the Middle East.

But his critics, including senior figures in his own Republican Party, cast it as a betrayal of the Kurds, loyal allies who lost thousands of fighters as the principal ground forces in Washington’s battle against Islamic State.

The Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, said Trump’s sanctions were too little, too late.

“His announcement of a package of sanctions against Turkey falls very short of reversing that humanitarian disaster.”

Turkey says it aims to defeat the Kurdish YPG militia, which it sees as terrorists for their links to separatists in Turkey, and to create a “safe zone” where millions of Syrian refugees can be resettled.

The United Nations says 160,000 people have fled their homes as Turkish forces advance. The Kurdish administration puts the number of displaced at 270,000.

The U.N. Human Rights office said on Tuesday Turkey could be held responsible for war crimes by fighters under its direction, potentially including the assassination of Hevrin Khalaf, a leading Kurdish politician killed on the side of a highway on Saturday by gunmen who posted the incident on the Internet.

Turkish-backed fighters have denied blame for her murder.

Erdogan, who has pledged to continue military operations come what may, said Turkey was giving the world a chance to bring peace to the region.

“The international community missed its opportunity to prevent the Syrian crisis from pulling an entire region into a maelstrom of instability,” he wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “The European Union – and the world – should support what Turkey is trying to do.”

The Syrian army deployments into Kurdish-held territory evacuated by Washington are a victory for President Bashar al-Assad and his most powerful ally, Russia, giving them a foothold in the biggest remaining swath of the country that had been beyond their grasp.

Trump allies insisted Washington had not given its blessing to the Turkish offensive, and demanded a ceasefire.

“The United States of America simply is not going to tolerate Turkey’s invasion in Syria any further,” Vice President Mike Pence said. “We are calling on Turkey to stand down, end the violence and come to the negotiating table.”

Trump’s sanctions include reimposing steel tariffs and halting talks on a trade deal. But bilateral trade between Turkey and the United States is small – around a tenth the size of Turkey’s trade with Europe. Washington’s most effective form of economic leverage would be to hinder Turkey’s access to U.S. financial markets, a step Trump has so far avoided.

“The sanctions are not related to banking, so the markets will have a positive perception,” said Cem Tozge, asset management director at Ata Invest.

In a potentially more damaging blow, German carmaker Volkswagen said it was postponing a final decision on whether to build a 1 billion euro ($1.1 billion) plant in Turkey, citing concern over “current developments” after international condemnation of the incursion.

European countries have criticised the offensive but have limited their response so far to announcing suspensions of arms sales, although weapons account for only a small fraction of EU-Turkish trade.

Trump said U.S. troops would remain at a small garrison at Tanf in southern Syria “to continue to disrupt remnants” of Islamic State. The base on the southern border is hundreds of miles away from the Kurdish area in the north that had previously been the main U.S. theatre.

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