You are here

Iran denies joint raid with Turkey against Kurd rebels

By AFP - Mar 19,2019 - Last updated at Mar 19,2019

TEHRAN — Iran has denied a claim by the Turkish interior minister that it took part in a joint operation on Monday targeting Kurdish rebels in the border area.

In recent weeks, Ankara has talked up the prospects of joint military action with Tehran against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its allies but Monday marked the first time it had spoken of a joint operation being carried out.

“Iran’s armed forces have no role in this operation,” the official IRNA news agency quoted an “informed source” in the general staff as saying on Monday evening.

However, Iran “will forcefully confront any group that seeks to create unrest on our country’s soil”, the source added.

Earlier on Monday, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said: “we started staging a joint operation with Iran against the PKK on our eastern border as of 8am [05:00 GMT].”

Soylu did not specify where the joint operation was taking place but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said previously that joint military action would focus on PKK rear bases in Iraq near where the three countries’ borders meet.

The Turkish military has carried out repeated bombing campaigns against PKK targets in Iraq’s northern mountains during its more than three-decade campaign to crush the rebels’ campaign for Kurdish self-rule in south-eastern Turkey.

In recent years, Tehran too has carried out operations in northern Iraq against suspected rear bases of the PKK’s Iran-focused ally, the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK).

PJAK is one of a number of Kurdish rebel groups that have fought the Iranian security forces in ethnic Kurdish districts along the border. 

up
17 users have voted.

Add new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
2 + 7 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

Opinion

Newsletter

Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.