Hamas leader Khaled Mashal meets Recep Tayyip Erdogann
Hamas leader Khaled Mashal meets Recep Tayyip ErdogannMohammed Al-Ostaz/Flash 90

US officials have warned the Turkish government that it may face sanctions for the economic support the Hamas terrorist organization and Russia's war against Ukraine find within the country's borders, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Turkey has allowed Hamas to operate numerous businesses and financing schemes out of Istanbul despite Hamas' designation as a terrorist organization and the sanctions imposed against it by the US.

US Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence Brian Nelson said during meetings with Turkish officials in Ankara yesterday (Wednesday) that "it would be very bad if any future attack by Hamas was connected to fundraising or facilitation that occurred in Turkey."

Nelson added that the Biden Administration is “committed to [doing] everything we can to cut off all of those things and want to do that in partnership with Turkey, but are prepared to act unilaterally as well.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has supported Hamas and condemned Israel in the aftermath of the unprovoked massacre of over 1,200 people in southern Israel on October 7.

In a speech in Istanbul last month, Erdogan claimed that "Hamas is not a terrorist organization, but you, Israel, are the occupier." He added that he considers Hamas "a liberation and mujahedeen group, trying to protect its land."

This week, he doubled down on his condemnation of Israel, saying that "Netanyahu committed one of the greatest atrocities of this century in Gaza and has already put his name down in history as the butcher of Gaza."

US officials have also accused Turkey of playing both sides of the war in Ukraine, allowing Russia to circumvent Western sanctions and allowing arms smuggling to Russia.

According to the Journal report, this week, US officials met with the heads of Turkish banks and warned that they must end money laundering used to finance terrorism to preserve their access to American financial markets.