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The lawmakers seen during a debate at Turkey's parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012. Turkey fired on Syrian targets for a second day Thursday, but said it has no intention of declaring war, despite tensions after deadly shelling from Syria killed five civilians in a Turkish border town. (AP Photo)

The Turkish parliament has voted to authorize possible further military operations outside its borders. Turkish forces have already struck Syrian targets in response to a cross-border mortar attack that killed five civilians in Turkey.

Bulent Aliriza is Director and Senior Associate of the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. VOA’s Susan Yackee asked for his reaction to the Turkish parliament’s vote.

Government Now Has Authority From the Parliament

Bulent Aliriza, Director and Senior Associate of the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies

“The resolution itself does not mean that Turkey is going to intervene across the border immediately. Both the prime minister and the foreign minister have recently reconfirmed that they would move to establish a buffer zone across the border only after the security council authorizes such action. So while the Turkish government now has authority from the parliament to send troops, it doesn’t seem likely that a large number of Turkish troops will be sent across the border until and unless there is a resolution from the Security Council.”

Turkish Government Remains Committed To Seeing Assad Go

“The Assad regime has proved to be more durable than many people outside, including the Turks, expected – by using brutal methods and particularly through the use of its air force, seems to be pushing the insurgents back including in Aleppo where there has been heavy fighting. And clearly the Turkish government remains committed to seeing Assad go. It is supporting the insurgents. The Syrian National Council is based in Turkey. Until recently, the Free Syria Army was also based in Turkey, and Turkey’s been allowing supplies including arms to go to the insurgents and clearly wants them to win. But the question is whether it’s willing to act unilaterally to make that happen, to give them that kind of support that will lead to Assad’s overthrow and for the moment that seems very unlikely.”

Turkish Government Believed Justification Would be Necessary

“This is just the necessary authorization for something that the Turkish government always believed would be necessary if and when the Security Council acted. So in that sense, it is a confirmation of the current intentions rather than something that actually exacerbates them.”

Listen to a portion of the audio interview with Bulent Aliriza (2:30):

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