Turkey Signals Joint Offensive with Iran against PKK, PJAK
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan said Tehran and Ankara may launch a joint operation against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and its offshoot PJAK in the near future.
“A joint operation with Iran against terror groups that are posing threat is always on the agenda,” Erdogan told reporters on Monday, the Daily Sabah reported.
He added, "We have discussed the details on what kind of work we can carry out amongst us. There are damages that the PKK and its branch in Iran causes. We will carry out these discussions with the understanding that the threats can be defeated with the cooperation of both countries in a short time”.
The remarks came after Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri met Erdogan in Ankara last week.
Heading a military delegation, the top Iranian general held talks with top Turkish military and political officials in Ankara and Istanbul.
Iran and Turkey enjoy cordial bilateral relations. Despite some differences on regional issues, Iran and Turkey are two sides of a trilateral mechanism to maintain ceasefire in certain parts of Syria.
Major General Baqeri's trip to Ankara came days ahead of a planned visit by US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Ties between NATO allies Turkey and the United States have been strained by Washington's support for Kurdish YPG fighters.
Turkey says the YPG is indistinguishable from the outlawed Kurdish PKK which has been waging an insurgency in southeast Turkey for more than 30 years. Washington sees it as a vital ally in its purported fight to defeat Deash.