Turkish parliament ratifies motion to extend troop deployment to Syria, Iraq
Turkish parliament ratified on Wednesday a motion granting the state authority to launch cross-border military operations in neighbouring Iraq and Syria, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Submitted by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's government, the motion allows for the Turkish military to carry out cross-border operations in northern Iraq and Syria for another year - from Oct. 30, 2020 to Oct. 30, 2021.
Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) as well as AKP’s junior coalition partner, far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Good Party backed the motion, while the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) downvoted the motion.
Turkey has carried out three cross-border operations into war-torn Syria since 2016 targeting Kurdish forces it sees as existential threats due to their links to an insurgency on its own soil. Turkey and Turkey backed Syrian having control of three different areas in the region – the northwestern enclave of Afrin, Idlib, and Ra's al-Ayn.
The country has regularly launched airstrikes into northern Iraq against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is based in Iraq’s Qandil mountain range. Ankara has also occasionally sent Turkish soldiers across the border for brief missions.
On Tuesday, Turkey’s parliament ratified a motion to extend the deployment of Turkish troops in Lebanon another year as part of the U.N. interim force. The motion effectively extends the term of the Turkish soldiers until Oct. 30, 2021.