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Turkey parliament extends mandate for Syria, Iraq military operations

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Turkish lawmakers raise their hands to vote during a session to discuss a one-year extension of a mandate for Turkish military operations in Iraq and Syria, Ankara, September 3, 2015. (AFP)

The Turkish parliament has ratified a motion to extend the mandate for military operations in neighboring Syria and Iraq in an alleged attempt to fight the rising threat of terrorism in the region.

On Thursday, Turkish parliament extended another year the mandate for military action against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Syrian and Iraqi territories.

"Armed terrorist elements continue their presence in northern Iraq. There is also a significant increase in the number of other terrorist elements in Syria and Iraq, as well as the threats they pose," read the motion, citing "increased risks and threats against Turkey's national security along the southern borders."

The motion, which was submitted last week by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), further allows foreign troops to use Turkish soil to launch operations against terrorist threats.

The previous mandate expires on October 1.

A military aircraft maneuvers on the runway at Incirlik Air Base, southern Turkey, on July 28, 2015. (AFP)


US will use Incirlik 'as long as it takes'

Meanwhile, the US ambassador to Turkey has announced that Washington will continue to use Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey in the alleged battle against Daesh militants.

"In terms of duration, we expect that we will be here as long as is required to achieve the objective that we share, which is to degrade and ultimately defeat Daesh. So, we are thinking of this very much in terms of a set of objectives as opposed to a period of time,” John Bass stressed.

There has been renewed conflict between the PKK and Turkish security forces since July. Turkey has been launching airstrikes against purported Daesh targets in Syria as well as PKK positions in Iraq after a bomb attack attributed to the Takfiri terrorist group, left 32 people dead in the southeastern Turkish town of Suruc on July 20. Ankara also officially joined the so-called anti-Daesh international coalition in late August.

Takfiri terrorists drive in armed vehicles in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on May 26, 2015. (AFP)


The Daesh terrorist group, with members from several western countries, currently controls areas across Syria as well as northern and western Iraq. The Takfiri militants have been carrying out horrific acts of violence, including public decapitations, against Iraqi and Syrian communities such as Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.

The US and some of its regional allies, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have been widely accused of lending staunch support to Takfiri terrorists group fighting against Syria’s legitimate government.

There have been several reports proving Turkey's support for the militants in Syria. Back in May, center-left Turkish daily newspaper Cumhuriyet posted on its website a video showing a Syrian-bound convoy of trucks loaded with arms and ammunition. According to reports, the trucks, which belonged to Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT), were detected and searched near the Syrian border in the southern Turkish provinces of Hatay and Adana at the time.

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