The possibilities of an Ankara-Tehran joint operation against the PKK terror group, and its branch in Iran, the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), has increased with officials from both neighboring countries making positive remarks about a cross-border offensive.
Speaking to reporters Monday ahead of his official visit to Jordan in Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that “a joint operation with Iran against terror groups that are posing threat is always on the agenda.”
“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,” Erdoğan said.
The PJAK, which is associated with the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), the umbrella organization for the armed terrorist organizations the PKK, is the Iranian branch of the terror group. In Syria, the group is goes by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Although the PKK was headquartered in Syria until 1998, currently, the terrorist organization is now controlled from its headquarters in northern Iraq’s Qandil Mountains. KCK terrorist groups function under the names of the PKK in Turkey and the PÇDK in Iraq.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and EU, resumed its nearly 40-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015. PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan stated in an interview with the Iraqi television network Zelal in 2013 that “I founded the PYD as I did the PJAK.”