ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is being reported to have said that the military campaign in Afrin, Syria will end in May and, additionally, that the Turkish and Iraqi governments will then conduct a joint operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The Turkish military's offensive in the Kurdish enclave of Afrin was launched in January and continues to rage, with US-backed forces in eastern Syria saying on Tuesday that they had decided to withdraw from the front lines of the war against the Islamic State (IS) to battle Turkey in Afrin.
Cavusoglu added that the joint campaign against the PKK would begin after Iraq's upcoming national elections, scheduled for May 12.
According to media reports, when he was asked what would happen if the Afrin operation is not completed by that date, he replied that Turkey, "is capable of conducting two operations simultaneously."
The foreign minister gave no further details and there has, of yet, been no confirmation from Iraqi officials regarding the existence of any such agreement between the two countries.
The PKK has a substantial presence in north Iraq, including in the mountainous Qandil region along the Turkish and Iranian borders. Its fighters, which number in the thousands, are engaged in a decades-long insurgency against the government of Turkey.