CIA and Iran to assist clampdown on PKK


Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed plans on Sunday to bolster secretive joint military operations with the CIA and Iran against Kurdish guerillas based in occupied Iraq’s semi-autonomous north.

At a press conference after a visit to Washington DC the premier said US officials had agreed “in principle” to base unarmed Predator drones operated by the US in Turkey.

“There is no question of any postponement,” Mr Erdogan warned.

The CIA has deployed intelligence-gathering drones in support of Turkish counter-insurgency efforts from bases in occupied Iraq since 2007.

But the US military is scheduled to pull out of Iraq at the end of December.

Mr Erdogan has been urging the Obama administration to relocate the drones to Turkey.

The Turkish PM has also worked to strengthen ties with Iran.

On Sunday he said that “relevant” Iranian and Turkish officials “are conducting work regarding joint operations to be carried out by Turkey and Iran” against suspected Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) bases in Iraq.

“We already co-operate with Iran in the field of intelligence to combat terrorism,” he confirmed.

PKK militants have escalated their attacks in Turkey since authorities detained six of the 36 recently elected MPs of the progressive Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party over their alleged links to the PKK.

PKK fighters have killed dozens of soldiers, police and pro-government militiamen and at least 10 civilians since July, while Turkish air strikes on suspected PKK bases in Iraq backed by US intelligence and Iranian shelling have reportedly claimed around 100 lives since then.

It is unclear how many civilians have been killed in those attacks.



Latest news
Related news