The Wall Street Journal reports: The Turkish government was expected to submit motions to parliament Tuesday that if approved would give it authorization to intervene in Iraq and Syria against forces of the extremist Islamic State.
The motions are to be debated in a closed or open session of parliament Thursday, with a vote immediately to follow. An affirmative vote is predicted.
“We will definitely be where we need to be,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said over the weekend. “We cannot stay out of this.”
Some opposition political parties in Turkey have staunchly opposed any Turkish military action in Syria and are expected to challenge the motions, despite government pleas. [Continue reading…]
Today’s Zaman reports: Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants are advancing on a tomb in northern Syria regarded by Turkey as sovereign territory and guarded by Turkish soldiers, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said on Tuesday.
Arınç’s remarks, made after a Cabinet meeting, confirmed a news report by pro-government Yeni Şafak daily that ISIL has been reinforcing militants around the tomb of Süleyman Şah, the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman I, for the past three days.
“It is true that ISIL militants are approaching Süleyman Şah tomb,” Arınç said, adding, however, that Turkish troops guarding the tomb have not been evacuated.
The report said there are now 1,100 ISIL militants surrounding the Süleyman Shah tomb, citing unnamed local sources. It also said an attack on the tomb is possible and that ISIL militants might take some 36 Turkish soldiers stationed there hostage.