Syria slams Turkish extension of military activity on its soil

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Damascus on Saturday criticized the Turkish parliament’s renewed authorization this week of military operations on Syrian territory, saying Ankara’s policies threatened regional peace and security, Agence France-Presse reported.

“Syria strongly denounces the Turkish parliament’s decision,” a Syrian foreign ministry source said, quoted by state news agency SANA.

The source condemned Turkey’s pursuit of “military aggression” in Syria, “in violation of UN resolutions”, adding that “the policy of the head of the Turkish regime is a threat to peace and security” in the region.

Turkey’s parliament on Tuesday extended the military’s mandate to launch cross-border operations in Syria and Iraq by two more years.

The motion was first approved in 2013 to support the international campaign against the Islamic State (IS) group.

It has since been renewed annually, in large part to counter the geographic control of Syrian Kurdish forces close to the Turkish border and to confront Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) rebel rear-bases in Iraq.

This week marked the first time that the motion was extended by two years, giving President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a longer mandate to pursue campaigns against Kurdish forces.

Turkey and its proxies have seized control of territory inside Syria over several military operations launched since 2016, focusing heavily on various Kurdish militias.

Early this month, Erdoğan said Turkey was preparing to step up operations in Syria, where its forces have clashed with a Kurdish militia group supported by Washington in the fight against IS.

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