Turkey extends Syria, Iraq cross-border operations by two years

The previous cross-border motions were only for one-year duty.

Ankara: Turkish Parliament has ratified a motion extending authorisation for the government to launch cross-border operations in northern Iraq and Syria for two more years.

The motion, passed on Tuesday, will authorise cross-border operations to be carried out in Iraq and Syria from October 30, 2021 to October 30, 2023, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The previous cross-border motions were only for one-year duty.

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The motion also allowed the deployment of foreign armed forces in Turkey with the principles to be determined by the president.

The Turkish army launched Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016, Operation Olive Branch in 2018, Operation Peace Spring in 2019, and Operation Spring Shield in 2020 in northern Syria in order to create a zone free of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) along its border within the neighbouring country.

Turkey sees the YPG group as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Turkish forces frequently carry out ground operations, airstrikes and artillery bombardments against the PKK positions in northern Iraq, especially the Qandil Mountains, the main base of the group, and have been keeping troops in the region.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the EU, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for over 30 years.

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