Turkey cooperates with Iran against PKK

Turkey cooperates with Iran against PKK

Turkey said on Thursday it has been cooperating with Iran against outlawed PKK separatists in northern Iraq, as the Turkish military chief warned on Iraq's instability. (UPDATED)

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Turkey's military is cooperating with Iran by sharing information and coordinating strikes against outlawed PKK separatists in northern Iraq, Commander of the Turkish Land Forces Ilker Basbug said on Thursday.

"We haven't done it (coordinated strikes) for one or two months but we would do it if necessary," Basbug told reporters at a security conference.

Turkey and Iran have been long fighting against the terrorist movements operated by both the outlawed PKK and the PEJAK, the PKK’s breakaway faction in Iran.

Turkey, provided with intelligence on PKK movements in Iraq by the U.S., has stepped up military action against the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist group by much of the international community including the EU and the U.S., since December, carrying out several air strikes and a week-long ground incursion into northern Iraq in February, where more than 2,000 PKK separatists take refuge.

Iraq became the most important country in the Middle East and warned instability in Iraq could spark new conflicts in the region, the Chief of Turkish General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit told at the international symposium on the future of the Middle East in Istanbul. 

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"Iraq will be the center of the instability in the case its current structure continues, and will threaten Turkey's security," Buyukanit said.  

"Policies that would prevent the escalation of new problems in the region and keep the region free of nuclear weapons are highly important for a Middle East living in peace and stability", he also said.

"With its secular and democratic characters, Turkey is a source of stability in its region in the post-Cold War era", he added.

He also called on Iran to work for forming a region without nuclear works.    

He added Syria should be integrated to the international community.    

"There is also a terror problem in the region. The situation in the region allows terrorist organizations, the PKK in particular, to get stronger," Buyukanit said adding Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood also have the opportunity to exist in the Middle East.

"Some states give direct and indirect support to terrorist organizations in the region. Our allies are among those too," he also said.

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Photo: AA

 

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