Govt proposes extending mandate on cross-border ops against terrorist PKK
The government yesterday submitted a motion to Parliament to extend a mandate for military strikes against terrorist PKK bases in northern Iraq. "Turkey is continuing to successfully execute its military activities along with political and diplomatic moves to end the presence and terrorist activities of PKK terrorists in northern Iraq," said the motion, ahead of the current mandate's expiration on Sunday. The motion is likely to be easily approved by Parliament, where the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) holds a comfortable majority. The mandate authorizes the government to order cross-border military action against PKK hideouts in northern Iraq that the group's members use as a launching pad for strikes on Turkish targets across the border. Parliament has already twice extended the mandate, which was first approved in 2007. Using intelligence supplied by the United States, the Turkish military has staged a series of air raids against PKK targets in the region and carried out a number of ground incursions. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union.