Turkish parliament approves motion on Iraq, Syria

Turkish parliament approves motion on Iraq, Syria

ANKARA-Anadolu Agency
Turkish parliament approves motion on Iraq, Syria

The Turkish parliament on Oct. 8 ratified a motion, extending the state’s authority, to launch cross-border military operations in northern Iraq and Syria for another year. 

The motion came ahead of Turkey's planned safe zone operation in northern Syria. 

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) , the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and two other opposition parties, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Good (IYI) Party backed the motion. The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), however, voted against the motion. 

Addressing lawmakers ahead of the voting, head of parliament's National Defense Committee Ismet Yilmaz said that Turkey's ultimate target in the northern Syria was to end the existence of all terrorist groups. 

“Turkey aims to facilitate return of Syrians to their own country, to their homes and to their own territories, by providing a peace corridor within the territorial integrity of Syria," he said. 

Yilmaz also noted that the motion would support the actions to permanently end the terrorism in the region. 

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, 2018 until Oct. 30, 2019. 

The motion stated that Turkey attaches great importance to the protection of Iraq's territorial integrity, national unity and stability. 

"However, the existence of PKK and Daesh in Iraq poses a direct threat to regional peace, stability and the security of our country," it added, using the Arabic acronym of ISIL.

Meanwhile, the motion also said that Turkey has continued security activities east of Euphrates River in line with its legitimate security interest. 

The parliament approved another motion, extending the deployment of troops in Mali and the Central African Republic (CAR), for another year, as part of the UN-approved EU peacekeeping mission.

The extension will be effective from Oct. 31, 2019, for another year.

The ruling AKP, main opposition CHP, the MHP and oppositional IYI Party backed the motion. The HDP voted against it.