Turkey renews mandate for military operations in Syria, Iraq

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s parliament has voted to extend by another year a mandate that allows the military to intervene in Iraq and Syria when faced with national security threats.

The mandate approved Wednesday allows Turkey to send troops over its southern border to battle Kurdish rebels, Islamic State group militants and other groups that Turkey views as terrorists.

The vote comes as Erdogan has suggested Turkey could take steps to create “safe zones” across northern Syria, including in areas held by Kurdish fighters who are allied with the United States.

Turkey has previously used the mandate, which it has renewed every year since 2014, for cross-border operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, in northern Iraq and to clear IS militants and Syrian Kurdish militia from border areas inside Syria.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.