Turkey’s presidency submits motion on Iraq, Syria
The Turkish presidency on Oct. 20 submitted a motion to parliament to extend the state’s authority to launch cross-border military operations in northern Iraq and Syria for one more year.
The motion, which was submitted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government, had previously allowed the Turkish military to carry out cross-border operations from Oct. 30, 2020 until Oct. 30, 2021.
The motion underlined that the developments in the regions adjacent to Turkey’s southern land borders and the risks and threats posed by the ongoing environment of conflict increasingly continue.
Turkey attaches great importance to the protection of the territorial integrity, national unity and stability of its neighbor Iraq, said the motion.
“On the other hand, the continued existence of the PKK and ISIL elements in Iraq, attempts against ethnic-based separatism, and direct threats to regional peace, stability and the security of our country. Terrorist organizations, especially PKK/PYD-YPG and ISIL, continue their presence in Syria in the areas adjacent to our border, continuing their actions against our country, our national security and civilians.” it was said.
The motion drew attention to the fact that the terrorist organization PKK/PYD-YPG continues its separatist activities in Syria, it was explained that measures were taken in line with the legitimate national security interests in order to preserve the peace and stability established in Turkey’s areas of operation.
It stressed that the risks and threats targeting the activities related to the establishment of stability and security in Idlib within the scope of the Astana process continue.
Within the scope of all these developments, “necessary measures in line with our rights arising from international law is of vital importance for our national security,” against any action that may pose a threat to the national security, aimed at disrupting the territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria and creating illegitimate fait accompli in the field.
During the parliamentary session, lawmakers will debate on whether the same motion should be extended, or a new motion should be drafted.
Since 2016, Turkey’s Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and ISIL terrorists, making it possible for Syrians who fled violence to return home.
Turkey has long decried the threat from terrorists located on east of River Euphrates in northern Syria, pledging military action to prevent the formation of a “terrorist corridor” there.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian branch of the terrorist organization PKK.