Turkish parties unite in renewing army mandate to invade northeast Syria

Opposition parties in Turkey have supported Erdogan's demand to grant the army permission for cross-border attacks on US-allied Kurdish forces.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish opposition parties are united behind the Erdogan administration after they renewed a parliamentary mandate on Tuesday that allows the military to invade northeast Syria, where Kurdish forces allied with the United States fought the so-called Islamic State for years.

The secular People’s Republican Party (CHP) and the ultra-nationalist IYI Party joined lawmakers from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s majority Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its junior far-right ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in passing the resolution.

The parliament’s second-largest opposition bloc, the pro-Kurdish, left-wing Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), voted against the extension of the mandate the Erdogan Bestepe Palace submitted.

Ankara’s quick decision comes at a time of high tensions with Washington as US President Donald Trump gave a hasty order to pull some American troops from several key positions on the Syria-Turkey border after a phone call over the weekend with Erdogan.

Despite the confusion created by his tweets and statements, Trump and other top US officials, including many Republicans, among them Senator Lindsey Graham, have sternly warned Erdogan not to engage in a military offensive by threatening severe sanctions that could potentially cripple the country’s already failing economy.

As the US Congress, with support from both sides of the aisle, Pentagon, and diplomatic bureaucracy try to prevent any imminent Turkish invasion, Ankara’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu posted on Instagram a picture showing him in military attire and sporting sunglasses.

The Turkish army continued to reinforce troops and heavy vehicles to the border with Syria, where it also prepares militias allied with the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) to fight against the US-allied, Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany