The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) mission in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has been extended one year by a vote in parliament on June 27.
Established in 1978 in order to monitor the border between Lebanon and Israel, UNIFIL's mission was extended and enlarged to include Lebanese troops after the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah. UNIFIL's mission was going to end on Aug. 31, 2016, but it was expected that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) would renew it. Following that expectation, the TSK requested an extension, beginning from Sept. 5, 2016, in order to participate in UNIFIL's Maritime Task Force. Parliament extended the UNIFIL mission on Sept. 5, 2006 for the first time.
It was emphasized in the mandate that the TSK's involvement in the UNIFIL mission was crucial and that the TSK play an active role in the missions. In this respect, the mandate says that the TSK's participation in the UNIFIL missions has improved the TSK's civil-soldier cooperation skills, ameliorated the level of recognition of the TSK in the eyes of the Lebanese and the TSK played an important role in peacekeeping missions. With the extension of the UNIFIL mission, the TSK will participate in UNIFIL's Maritime Task Force within the scope of determined policies of the government and the UNCS.