Turkey Extends Mandate for Troops in Iraq, Syria
Turkey’s parliament on Saturday overwhelmingly approved a one-year extension of an existing mandate to use Turkish troops abroad in Syria and Iraq.
The mandate was first approved by parliament in October 2014 and was renewed for another year in September 2015.
It allows military action in Turkey’s two southern neighbours against Islamic State jihadists and other groups deemed by Ankara to be terror organisations.
Using the existing mandate, Turkey on August 24 launched an unprecedented operation inside Syria dubbed Euphrates Shield to back pro-Ankara rebels fighting IS jihadists and a Kurdish militia.
Ankara is also believed to have an unspecified number of troops in the Bashiqa camp outside IS-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), secular opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).