ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's Parliament has extended by a year a mandate that allows the military to send troops into Syria if the need arises.
Legislators voted on Thursday by a show of hands in favor of the bill despite objection from opposition parties, which argued the move would drag Turkey to war. The government proposed the extension, saying the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons poses an "imminent and serious" threat to Turkey.
Parliament first authorized the military to send troops to Syria last year, after five Turkish civilians were killed from Syrian shelling at a border town. That expires on Friday. Turkish-Syrian relations have further deteriorated since then and last month Turkey shot down a Syrian helicopter that strayed into its territory.