Joint operation with Iran against Kurdish militants was always on the agenda: Erdogan

Vastavam web: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today that a joint operation with Iran against Kurdish militants was “always on the agenda”, a week after Tehran’s top armed forces commander visited Ankara for rare talks.Turkey has battled the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for decades, while the Iranian security forces have also fought its affiliate, the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK). Both groups have rear bases in neighbouring Iraq.”It is always on the agenda to carry out a joint operation with Iran against those terror organisations which pose a threat,” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul before a trip to Jordan.

During the visit, Iran made a “surprise proposal” to Ankara to launch a joint operation against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq’s Kandil and Sinjar regions, the Turkish newspaper Turkiye reported on its front page on Monday.The newspaper claimed the proposal sparked surprise in Ankara because Turkish officials had long complained that Tehran had long left Turkey alone in its fight against the PKK’s cadres, financial structuring and political activities.Erdogan confirmed that the two countries’ military chiefs discussed how to work against Kurdish militants.

“I hope that we will get a successful result there,” he added, without offering further details on the timing or scope of the operation.The PKK is designated as a terror group by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.The Turkish army has been waging a relentless campaign in the last months to eradicate the PKK, and occasionally launches air raids against the group’s bases in northern Iraq.