Turkey extends mandate for military operations in Syria, Iraq

The Turkish Parliament has voted to extend the mandate for another two years.

Turkey’s parliament voted on Tuesday to extend the mandate that allows its security forces to conduct cross-border operations in Syria and Iraq for another two years.

The Turkish Parliament, in which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling coalition holds a majority, voted in favor of extending the mandate. It allows Turkey to send troops to Syria and northern Iraq in its fight with groups that Ankara considers terror outfits, including the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its Syrian offshoot the People’s Protection Units (YPG) — the backbone of the US-allied Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces — as well as the Islamic State.

The extension follows Turkey’s large-scale air offensive in northern Syria this month targeting dominant Syrian Kurdish groups.

Under the mandate, which first came into force in 2014 and has been extended several times, Turkey conducted multiple ground incursions in Syria and Iraq.

Erdogan requested the extension, citing the “terrorist threats and security risks” that “all terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria pose.”