Turkey: Iran Supports Potential Turkish Operation in North Iraq #PKK
Iran has voiced support for a potential Turkish operation against Kurdish militants just over its border in northern Iraq, Turkish Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Tuesday.
The Turkish military has ramped up air strikes in northern Iraq targeting Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) bases in Qandil, close to the Iraq-Iran border, where high-ranking members of the militant group are thought to be located.
The government has also said Turkish troops have deployed roughly 30 km (nearly 20 miles) inside northern Iraq, not far from Qandil.
“Our offer to Iran was to carry out the operation together. Iran, in its remarks at least, has voiced very important support,” Canikli told a roundtable interview with the state-run Anadolu news agency.
There was no immediate confirmation of his assertion from Tehran.
Canikli said Turkey was also in full agreement with Baghdad on a potential operation into Qandil, adding that Ankara was in talks with “all possible countries” on the matter.
Iraq, however, said it would not accept any Turkish operation against Qandil or other PKK strongholds.
“The Iraqi government will not accept any advance on its land by Turkish forces in pursuit of the PKK elements currently present in the Sinjar, Makhmour and Qandil mountains,” Saad al-Hadithi, a spokesman for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told the Iraqi News Agency.