After failed talks with Iran, Turkey appeals to Iraq and US to help fight PKK

by The Region   Getty Images  


Turkey Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met with Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the Foreign Minister of Iraq in Baghdad on Wednesday (Aug 23rd) to discuss among other things, the recent calls for a referendum on Kurdistans Independence, and the country's fight against the PKK. 

"We will support the Iraqi government to clear the PKK militants from Iraqi soil, of course, in cooperation with Baghdad" said Cavusoglu in a press conference following his meeting. His statements quickly followed complaints about the Kurdistan Regional Government. 

"We have supported the Kurdistan Region, particularly during the fight against ISIS, but this step by the region is wrong and we have told them" said Cavusoglu, accroding to a report released by NRT news. 

After a historic rapprochement with Iran, earlier this week President Erdogan of Turkey claimed that he had discussed with Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri potential plans for a joint operation against the PKK. But the IRGC press service insisted that Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps would not be engaging in any military operation with Turkey against the PKK. 

"We do not conduct operations abroad" the statement read, but added that "We will oppose any attempt to commit a terrorist attack inside the country." 

Today, U.S Secratary of Defense James Mattis also held talks with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara. Before the trip, the Pentagon released a statement expressing commitment "to help Turkey address its legitimate security concerns -- including the fight against the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party)." 

These meetings all come at a time in which the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces), a military outfit organized by the PYD (Democratic Union Party) and its allies in Syria, are making increased gains in the fight to take Raqqa from the so called Islamic State. They are supported by a US-led coalition. Turkey believes the PYD is an offshoot of the PKK, both the PYD and the United States insist that they are seperate. Adding to the controversy,  calls have also been made for a referendum by the Kurdish regional government for Independence. 

Over the past past week, the government of Turkey has appealed to Iran, Iraq, and the United States to help it in its fight against the PKK, a group that, for decades has been waging an armed struggle for Kurdish cultural and political rights in the country.