Iraq supports joint military operation with Turkey against PKK: Parliament Speaker
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri on Saturday said his government supports Turkey’s fight against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Kurdistan Region and surrounding areas.
“We are definitely against the existence of terror organizations, especially the PKK there [in northern Iraq], which can harm Turkey and the region,” Jabouri was quoted as saying by Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency.
The Iraqi official, who made the remarks during a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Kahraman, added that Turkey and Iraq would “defeat terrorism jointly through full cooperation.”
The PKK, who has been engaged in a decades-long fight against the Turkish government for broader Kurdish rights, is considered a terrorist group by Ankara, the United States, as well as the European Union.
Kahraman, meanwhile, said his country considered Iraq’s territorial integrity very important “for the peace and stability of the region.”
“Iraq’s fight against terrorism is reaching a positive conclusion,” he said, according to Anadolu. “The joint move against the terror actions in Turkey pleased us as well.”
Since July 2015, Turkish warplanes have regularly conducted airstrikes on PKK positions in the Kurdistan Region after a two-year-held peace agreement, and ceasefire between the sides collapsed.
Qandil Mountains and other areas straddling along Iraq’s border with Turkey and Iran often come under daily Turkish fire both from the air and ground.
During another part of the meeting, Jabouri encouraged Turkish construction companies to get involved in the reconstruction of Iraqi areas devastated by the three-year war against the Islamic State.