1142 GMT August 19, 2019
An official of the Iranian Armed Forces announced that the country has had no role in the Turkish military’s operation against outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The informed official at the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces confirmed on Monday that Turkey had started an operation against PKK on its eastern border regions, according to IRNA.
“It should be said that the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran are not involved in this operation,” the informed official added.
The comments came after media reports said that Turkey had started a joint military operation with Iran against Kurdish militants.
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said Turkey and Iran carried out a joint operation against militants from the outlawed PKK on Monday, according to state-owned media.
“We started carrying out an operation with Iran against the PKK on our eastern border this morning, will announce the result,” Anadolu Agency quoted Soylu as saying.
Earlier this month, Soylu had announced the operation.
Turkey has battled the PKK for decades, while Iranian security forces have fought its affiliate, the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK). Both groups have bases in neighboring Iraq.
Turkey and many of its Western allies have listed the PKK as a “terrorist” group.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously said a joint operation would be conducted against the groups’ hideouts in Iraq.
The PKK has waged a three-and-a-half decade violent campaign seeking independence from the Turkish state, a conflict that has left tens of thousands dead.
Over the past few months, Turkish ground and air forces have been carrying out operations against PKK positions in the country as well as in northern Iraq and neighboring Syria.