Turkish parliament approves military incursions into Syria, Iraq

Turkish parliament approves military incursions into Syria, Iraq

Turkey’s parliament gave the government new powers Thursday, Oct 2, to launch military incursions into Syria and Iraq, and to allow foreign forces to use its territory for possible operations against the Islamic State group, the Associated Press reported.
The move opens the way for Turkey, a NATO member with a large and modern military, to play a more robust role in the U.S-led coalition against the Sunni militants. However, Turkey has yet to define what that role might be.

The vote came as the extremists pressed their offensive against a beleaguered Kurdish town along Syria’s border with Turkey. The assault, which has forced some 160,000 Syrians to flee across the frontier in recent days, left the Kurdish militiamen scrambling to repel the militants’ advance into the outskirts of Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab.
The assault came despite renewed U.S.-led airstrikes in the area overnight. The United States has been bombing the Islamic State group across Syria since last week and in neighboring Iraq since early August.
Thursday’s motion, which passed 298-98, expands those powers to address threats from the Islamic State militants who control a large cross-border swath of Iraq and Syria, in some cases right up to the Turkish border.
Asked what measures Turkey would take after the motion was approved, Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said: “Don’t expect any immediate steps.”
The motion could allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters to use Turkey’s territory to safely cross into Syria to help Syrian Kurdish forces there, or permit the deployment of coalition forces’ drones, Ergil said.
Turkey could also allow its air base in Incirlik, some 160 kilometers (100 miles) from the Syrian border to be used by allied planes or for logistics.


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