Turkish MPs to vote on anti-Syria military measure

Turkish MPs to vote on anti-Syria military measure
Thu Oct 3, 2013 16:55:24

Turkish lawmakers are to consider a piece of legislation that would provide the nation’s military forces with a mandate to deploy troops into neighboring Syria amid the ongoing UN efforts to take control over the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal for their eventual destruction.

The legislators in Turkish parliament are due to vote on the measure in the capital Ankara on Thursday.

While Ankara has openly backed a US-led military intervention against the government in Damascus in recent months, a recent opinion poll in Turkey indicates that nearly 72 percent of Turkish citizens oppose their nation’s involvement in a Syrian conflict.

The development comes as the United States and its allies in Europe and the Middle East continue to allege that Damascus was behind a deadly chemical attack on August 21 near the capital.

The Syrian government, however, has flatly denied the unsubstantiated accusation, insisting that foreign-backed opposition militants in the country carried out the poison gas attack to provoke a US-led military involvement in the Arab nation.

This is while Turkish anti-war protesters have waged protest rallies against the war effort in the cities of Gaziantep, Izmir and Hatay.

According to statistics compiled by the United Nations, over 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million of others displaced since the foreign-backed Syrian unrest erupted in March 2011.

International media outlets have widely reported that Western powers and their regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – have played active roles in supplying logistical and military aid to the insurgent elements within Syria.

Moreover, the Syrian crisis has forced a massive displacement of the nation’s citizens to refugee camps across Syria’s borders with Turkey and Jordan.

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