Turkish parliament on Wednesday ratified a motion extending authorization to launch cross-border anti-terrorist operations in northern Iraq and Syria.
The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and two other opposition parties, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Good Party (IP) backed the motion. The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), however, voted against the motion.
The motion, submitted on Thursday by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government, would allow the Turkish military to carry out cross-border operations in northern Iraq and Syria for another year, from Oct. 30, 2020 until Oct. 30, 2021.
The motion states that Turkey places great importance on protecting Iraq’s territorial integrity, national unity, and stability.
“However, the existence of [terrorist groups] PKK and Daesh [ISIS] in Iraq poses a direct threat to regional peace, stability and the security of our country,” it added.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is its Syrian branch.
The terrorist PKK often uses northern Iraq, just across the Turkish border, to plot cross-border terror attacks in Turkey. Turkey uses its rights under international law, including in operations this summer, to pursue these terrorists at their hideouts.
Daesh/ISIS terrorists have carried out multiple attacks against Turkey, including at least 10 suicide bombings, seven bombings, and four armed attacks, which killed 315 people and injured hundreds of others.
In response, Turkey launched military and police operations at home and abroad to prevent further attacks.
Meanwhile, the motion also says Turkey has continued security responsibilities in northern Syria, east of the Euphrates River and in the Idlib province, in line with its legitimate security interests.
Since 2016, several Turkish cross-border operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for Syrians who fled the violence to return home.
Turkey has long decried the threat from terrorists in northern Syria, pledging military action to prevent the formation of a “terrorist corridor” there.
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