Turkey, Iran Agree on ‘Coordinated Operations’ against PKK

Wednesday, 20 March, 2019 - 18:45
Asharq Al-Awsat

Turkish and Iranian military commanders have agreed to continue “simultaneous and coordinated operations” against Kurdish fighters, announced the Turkish Interior Ministry on Wednesday.

Turkish Gendarme Commander Arif Cetin and Iranian Border Forces Commander Qassem Rezai had agreed to continue “simultaneous and coordinated operations” for “some time” in a phone call.

In a separate phone call, Turkish and Iranian deputy interior ministers welcomed the stage reached in the operations, said the interior ministry according to Reuters.

Earlier this week Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey and Iran were carrying out a joint operation against Kurdish militants. He described it as the first of its kind, but an Iranian source said Iran’s armed forces were not part of the operation.

A spokesman for Iran’s armed forces later said there were no joint operations against fighters from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) between Turkey and Iran near the border.

It was not clear where the operation was taking place or why the two countries were offering different accounts.

The PKK, which has waged an insurgency for autonomy in Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast since 1984, is deemed a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

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