The Turkish parliament has passed a bill to extend permission for the country’s military to mount cross-border operations against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.
The move comes amidst heightening tension with the Kurdistan Workers Party militant group – the PKK – and an increase in attacks inside Turkey. In the last three months 108 people have been killed.
“The reason for the terror attacks by this terrorist group is because they can gather and move freely in northern Iraq without any obstacles. The aim of a probable cross-border operation is clear. The targets are the murderers in northern Iraq, the murderers who kill women and children,” explained Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu
Operations by Turkish military against suspected militants in the Qandil mountains have intensified since August, straining relations with the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq.
Earlier this week police detained more than 120 people across Turkey as part of an investigation into alleged links between Kurdish activists and separatist guerrillas.