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Turkey, Iran may launch joint operation in Iraq

27 October 2017 14:53 (UTC+04:00)
Turkey, Iran may launch joint operation in Iraq

By Kamila Aliyeva

NATO's ally - Turkey and U.S. rival - Iran may launch joint military operations in the northern area of Iraq against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Turkish media outlets reported on October 27 citing a military source.

Meanwhile, Iran and Turkey will exchange military information. Currently, details of joint military operations against the PKK in the north of Iraq are being discussed.

The area sits to the north of the Syrian and Iraqi borders and contains the Habur border crossing, which provides the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq with its main access point to the outside world.

Territory controlled by the PKK/PYD lies across the Syrian frontier from Silopi. Counter-terrorism operations targeting the PKK on the Turkish side of the border are ongoing, the statement said.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by the EU and U.S. as well as Turkey, although only Turkey has designated the PKK/PYD as a terror group in Syria, where it is used by the U.S.-led coalition to fight Daesh.

The conflict between Turkey and the PKK, which demands the creation of an independent Kurdish state, has continued for more than 30 years and has claimed more than 40,000 lives.

Previously, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara, Baghdad and Tehran have achieved serious success in the north of Iraq. He once again reconfirmed that Turkey stands for the integrity of Iraq.

The Kurdish Regional Government’s (KRG) held a controversial independence referendum in northern Iraq, including areas disputed between Erbil and Baghdad, on September 25. Election authorities in Kurdistan announced that the independence referendum passed with 92 percent support.

Along with Iraq, Iran and Turkey - countries with Kurdish minorities - have all denounced the referendum as a threat to the stability of a region already beset by conflict, while the United States has expressed similar disquiet. International community expressed the view that this referendum might undermine global efforts to combat terrorism in Syria.

Kurds are the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East although they have never obtained a permanent nation state. In Iraq they make up an estimated 15-20 percent of the population of 37 million. Kurds acquired autonomy following the 1991 Gulf War.


Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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