Turkey’s parliament was considering a motion on Thursday that would give the government additional powers to launch incursions by its military into Iraq and Syria and give authorization to foreign forces to uses Turkish territory for possible operation against the radical militant group Islamic State.
The country however has not yet defined what role it is intending to play in the coalition led by the U.S. against that militant group.
Turkey’s government has been quite vague over how it would back the new coalition or how far it is willing to go in fighting the radical group, but the government’s motion will set its legal groundwork.
Parliament has in previous years given the approval of operations into Syria and Iraq to attack the Kurdish separatists or to thwart threats from the regime in Syria.
However, the motion on Thursday expands the powers to address the threats from the militant in Islamic State who control large swathes of land directly across the border with Turkey.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan the President of Turkey called for a buffer zone inside Syria along with a no-fly zone that would secure the borders of Turkey and stem the refugee flow crossing its borders.
Erdogan also has called for military equipment and training for the opposition fighting against the regime in Syria.
Erdogan said that in the current struggle against terrorism Turkey is open and ready to every type of cooperation. However, it will not allow itself to be used just for solutions that are temporary.
Our priority said the Turkish president would be an effective struggle versus the Islamic State or other organizations that deal in terror.
The motion in parliament cites the continual threat Turkey faces from Kurdish rebels who continue to fight for autonomy in northern Iraq, the threat of the regime in Syria, as well as the new threat from Islamic State the militant group.
It also cites the potential threat of a mausoleum located in Syria that Turkey considers territory of Turkey.
The tiny piece of land that is a Suleyman Shah memorial is guarded by troops from Turkey. Shah was the grandfather of the Ottoman Empire founder.