Turkey approves motion to join new NATO mission in Afghanistan
REUTERS PhotoTurkey’s Parliament has approved a motion authorizing the government to send Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) troops to Afghanistan as part of NATO’s new Resolute Support mission.
According to the motion approved late on Jan. 6, the government will be able to continue posting Turkish troops to Afghanistan for two more years in order to support a new NATO-led mission called Resolute Support, which was launched on Jan. 1.
As the mission of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was completed at the end of 2014, training, advice and assistance for the Afghan security forces and institutions will continue through a new, follow-on NATO-led mission called Resolute Support.
The motion also authorizes the government to permit foreign army personnel to be transported to and from Afghanistan through Turkey.
“This is a training, advice and assistance mission. There will be no combatant operations,” Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz said, while speaking at a General Assembly session where the motion was approved.
Turkey is running the biggest foreign assistance program of its history in Afghanistan, he said, adding that around 900 Turkish personnel would be serving in Afghanistan as part of the mission.
Turkey will also undertake the management of Kabul International Airport in the country’s capital for a two-year term. The airport is used for both military and civilian purposes.
The Resolute Support mission will consist of more than 12,500 troops focused on building Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) sustainability. Some 28 NATO allies and 14 partner nations will contribute to the mission in different ways.