DECEMBER 9, 2022
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Turkey Extends Military Authority for Cross-Border Operations in Syria and Iraq

Turkey Extends Military Authority for Cross-Border Operations in Syria and Iraq

Turkey's parliament voted to extend the mandate allowing its security forces to conduct cross-border operations in Syria and Iraq for an additional two years. The 600-seat Turkish parliament passed the mandate with 357 votes in favor and 164 against, permitting Turkey to deploy troops to Syria and northern Iraq. The extension follows Turkey's recent large-scale air offensive in northern Syria, targeting prominent Syrian Kurdish groups. Despite opposition from parties like the CHP and the Pro-Kurdish Green Left Party, President Erdogan's ruling coalition, along with some opposition parties, supported the bill. Erdogan cited "terrorist threats and security risks" as the reason for the extension, allowing Turkey to address perceived threats from various organizations in Iraq and Syria. The mandate, initiated in 2014 and extended multiple times, has facilitated Turkey's ground incursions into both countries. Erdogan also renewed his threat to establish a 30-kilometer-deep buffer zone beyond Turkey’s borders in response to a suicide bombing attack in Ankara. The PKK claimed responsibility for the attack, leading to a Turkish military offensive against areas held by the US-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Turkey considers the SDF, primarily composed of PKK militants, a national security threat, urging the US to reconsider its alliance with the group.

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