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Middle East

Erdogan: Turkey and Iran discussed joint action against PKK

By Rudaw 21/8/2017
Recep Tayyip Erdogan boards a plane bound for Jordan after speaking with reporters in Istanbul on Monday. Photo: AA
Recep Tayyip Erdogan boards a plane bound for Jordan after speaking with reporters in Istanbul on Monday. Photo: AA
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — A week after high-level Turkish and Iranian military officials met in Ankara, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is considering a joint operation against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

"Joint action against terrorist groups that have become a threat is always on the agenda. This issue has been discussed between the two military chiefs, and I discussed more broadly how this should be carried out," Reuters quoted Erdogan as telling reporters before boarding a plane bound for Jordan on an official visit.

The PKK through its armed People's Defence Force (HPG) in Turkey has resumed its 33-year armed guerrilla fight against the Turkish government, while its offshoot, the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) have engaged with occasional skirmishes with Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Iran's Tasnim news agency, which is close to the IRGC, reported Erdogan had spoken with the Islamic Republic's Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Mohammad Hossein Bagheri about "joint action against terrorist groups" during last week's meeting with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara.

Tasnim added that Erdogan also said it is possible to conduct a joint operation with Iran against PKK positions in Shingal and Qandil.


Bagheri, Iran’s military chief, made a rare visit to Ankara, the first such visit since Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979, as he discussed the developments in Iraq and Syria with Turkish counterpart and president Erdogan.

Shingal contains PKK-affiliated Shingal Protection Units (YBS), which Turkey deems as a threat to its border, as it does in Qandil in the northeast of the Kurdistan Region. 

Turkey regularly conducts air strikes against PKK the border regions of Kurdistan Region.

In April, Turkish war planes attacked a YBS position in Shingal, killing a number of their fighters.

PJAK through its armed wing of the Eastern Kurdistan Defense Units (YRK) in Iran claimed it killed at least 32 Iranian security forces and affiliated “mercenaries” in October in retaliation for the killing of 12 of its fighters. 

Last summer, five PJAK fighters were killed by the IRGC in the Sardasht region in Iran.

PJAK and Tehran reached a ceasefire agreement in 2011 after Iran agreed to stop executing Kurdish political prisoners if PJAK ceased its attacks. 

Iran's parliament on Sunday approved most of President Hassan Rouhani's cabinet, including defense minister Amir Hatami. The General, for the first time in 25 years does not come from IRGC ranks, but received 261 votes, the most of any other candidate up for approval.

Turkey has also planned a wall on its border with Iran, similar to what it has done in Syria. Iran's foreign ministry said it "welcomed" the wall in a statement in May.


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Lars | 21/8/2017
Five Peshmerga get killed by turkish airstrikes too. The Government of Iraqi Kurdistan did say nothing about that. That was a shame. Turkey kills kurdish soldiers, even Five Peshmergas and the rulers of Iraqi Kurdistan are silent.
Stewee Guy
Stewee Guy | 21/8/2017
The title should read "Erdogan :Turkey and Iran discussed joint action against Kurds"
BijiKurdOKurdistan | 21/8/2017
I am not affiliated with any groups and will never be. I am for all the kurds who seeks peace in the middle east, and i am against occupying countries that does not belong to them, who aims to loot for resources in a foreign land. How can a certain groups of kurds who only defends their own land be called terrorists? And the aggressors be called heroes? Vaevictus! Same goes with rojhelat! Did Turkey not break the peace treaty before? And after that the kurds in bakur defended themselves, and yet are called terrorists. This political environment of categorizing different groups as good and evil needs to be investigated further. Because this is only about mining for minerals. Iran needs to be very careful and turkey, if they act like daesh, they will share the same faith in total destruction. Because truth stands clear from error, and falsehood is bound to perish. I am not against, iranian or turks, only against evildoers within their countries. There is so much injustice in this world.
Arnold B. | 21/8/2017
This completely undermines the US Israeli GCC effort to isolate and roll back Iran in the region. Every time Iran is under pressure Turkey to the rescue! Turkey also undermined the previous UN sanction regime on Iran! With proper support Kurds can break both their backs
Cat | 21/8/2017
if there was any ambiguity of secrete dirty deal between the two most brutal Islamic dictatorships which are the biggest obstacle to peace and stability for the Middle East there's none anymore.

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