Syria, Iraq cross-border motion approved by Parliament

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses MP at the Turkish National Assembly (TBMM) during the opening of the 2nd legislative year of the 26th term on October 1, 2016 in Ankara, Turkey. AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

A motion extending the mandate of the Turkish Armed Forces to conduct military operations in Iraq and Syria for another year was approved by the Turkish Parliament on Saturday.

While the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) voted in favor of the motion, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) cast a nay vote during the opening of the new legislative session of Parliament.

During a speech in Parliament before the vote Defense Minister Fikri Işık underlined the importance of the fight against the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is the Syrian offshoot of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in Iraq and Syria.

The motion authorizing the government to launch military incursions into Iraq was first adopted in 2007. In 2014 the motion was extended to include Syria for possible operations against ISIL and other groups.

When the Syria-Iraq cross-border motion was put before Parliament in 2015, the AKP, CHP and MHP all supported it, while the HDP voted against.

Turkey launched an operation called Euphrates Shield to clear ISIL from Jarabulus and the border region of Syria on Aug. 24, 2016.

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