Turkey renews permit for military operations in Syria, Iraq
DHA photoTurkey’s parliament has voted to renew by another year a mandate allowing the military to conduct operations in Syria and Iraq.
In a show of hands, legislators from the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the Republican’s People Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) voted on Sept. 3 in favor of the motion to extend the permit.
The current mandate – which served as a legal basis for recent Turkish strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group targets in Syria and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in Iraq – runs out in October.
The mandate also allows the government to authorize foreign troops to be based on Turkish soil.
“Armed PKK terror elements continues their existence in Iraq’s northern region. It was observed that the number of other terror elements and the threat that they pose has increased significantly in Syria and Iraq ... Turkey which attributes great importance to the territorial integrity, national unity and stability of neighboring Iraq, has to continue its military, political and diplomatic measures and initiatives increasingly against the presence of terrorist groups and the threats they bring in Iraq,” the motion read.
Turkey has taken a slightly larger role in the fight against ISIL militants recently, joining an airstrike campaign and allowing the use of an air base for U.S. fighter jet and drone missions.
Turkey’s parliament has been in summer recess since July 14 but is expected to return to work on Oct. 1 before elections one month later.