Turkey extends mandate for troops in Iraq, Syria
ANKARA – Agence-France PresseThe motion, based on Article 92 of the constitution, gives permission for the use of Turkish troops in Iraq and Syria for cross-border operations against members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), while also allowing foreign forces to be deployed in Turkish military bases and to transit through Turkish territory in operations against ISIL.
In 2014, the government merged two existing motions on Syria and Iraq into one, arguing that the threats posed by terrorist organizations were based in both countries’ territories.
“Developments in the neighboring regions of Turkey’s southern land frontiers, and threats derived from ongoing clashes, have increased,” read part of the motion signed by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.
Using the existing mandate, Turkey on Aug. 24 launched an operation inside Syria named Euphrates Shield to back pro-Ankara rebels fighting ISIL militants and the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Ankara is also believed to have an unspecified number of troops in the Bashiqa camp outside ISIL-controlled Mosul in northern Iraq involved in training Iraqi fighters who plan to recapture the city.
The bill passed easily on the first day of the new session of parliament with support from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Only the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) voted against the bill.
The new mandate will run until Oct. 30, 2017.