Gaziantep, Turkey (CNN) — Turkish lawmakers voted Thursday to authorize military force against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, joining a growing international coalition against the Islamist militants as they continued to capture territory just south of Turkey’s border.
The Turkish Parliament voted 298-98 to not only to let the country’s military leave its borders to battle ISIS but to eliminate threats coming from any terrorist organization in Iraq and Syria, starting Saturday.
It is a big shift for Turkey, a NATO member, which until now offered only tacit support to a U.S.-led coalition of about 40 nations going after ISIS in Iraq and Syria in various capacities.
The mood of Turkey’s leaders changed in recent days, with ISIS on the nation’s doorstep and tens of thousands fleeing across its border. Turkey’s Prime Minister asked Parliament to consider military action this week, submitting a motion declaring that Turkey was seriously threatened by the chaos in Syria and Iraq, where ISIS has captured land and is trying to establish an Islamic caliphate.