Turkey, World

Turkish gov't seeks mandate for military action against ISIL

Deputy PM Arinc says parliament will debate a motion aiming to authorize the government and the army to take action against ISIL

Turkish gov't seeks mandate for military action against ISIL


The Turkish government has submitted an inclusive motion to parliament to expand authorization to act against recent security threats from Iraq and Syria, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said.

"Considering Turkey's related position, we have worked out and prepared a document uniting two separate motions on Iraq and Syria, enabling all necessary measures at one time, so as to respond to all threats and risks," said Arinc, speaking after Tuesday's Council of Ministers' meeting chaired by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

The Turkish parliament will discuss the motion, giving the authority to the government and the armed forces to act accordingly to threats from Syria and Iraq, during a special session on Thursday.

"If there will be a request for closed session, we will consider it," Arinc added.

Asked if the motion would include authorization for the Turkish Armed Forces for a cross-border action into Iraq and Syria, if necessary, Arinc said the motion aims to seek expanded authorization for all such conditions and possibilities.

The minister emphasized that the motion also aims to give the government and armed forces authority for action against elements in Syria and Iraq who pose a threat to the country, including the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL group, which has recently become a growing threat for the whole region.

Turkish troops are currently authorized by the parliament to operate across the Iraq border to defend Turkey against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and the regime forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The session on Thursday was originally aimed to extend the term of already existing motions on Iraq and Syria that were going to expire on October 4 and 17 respectively.

Turkey is facing a massive influx of Kurdish refugees from Syrian border town of Kobani since ISIL militants launched attacks around the town, drawing more than 160,000 refugees to cross the border to seek shelter in Turkey.

A U.S.-led coalition launched airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria last week and U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged to build deeper international support for the campaign.

Turkey has called on the U.S. and the U.N. to produce a comprehensive strategy for Iraq and Syria that would also include setting up no-fly and safe zones in the border region for displaced people fleeing ISIL and removal of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.


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