Turkish and Iranian military commanders agreed in a phone call to continue joint operations against the PKK terrorists for "some time," Turkey's Interior Ministry said Wednesday.
Turkey's Interior Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that Turkish Gendarme Commander Arif Çetin and Iranian Border Forces Commander Qassem Rezai agreed on the continuation of the operations as well as the fight against the PKK and its Iranian affiliate the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK).
In a separate phone call Turkish and Iranian deputy interior ministers welcomed the stage reached in the joint operations, the ministry said.
The interior ministry released a statement following a phone call between the deputy interior minister of Turkey, Muhterem Ince and his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Zolfaghari over the joint operations. According to the statement, the two statesmen expressed that they are pleased with the current state of the coordinated operations.
The operations, which were launched against criminal and terrorist elements which threaten both countries' security, were being regarded as a "must" for the peace of the two societies, during the phone call.
The PKK and its Iranian affiliate, the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) use the Qandil mountains, located roughly 40 kilometers southeast of the Turkish border in Iraq's Irbil province, as headquarters for the terrorist group.
Although the PKK was headquartered in Syria until 1998, currently, the terrorist organization is now controlled from its headquarters in northern Iraq's Qandil Mountains. The Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) serves as an umbrella group for terrorist groups functioning under the names of the PKK in Turkey, the Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party (PÇDK) in Iraq, the PJAK in Iran and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria and its armed wing the People's Protection Units (YPG), which currently control some one-third of the Syrian territory and dominate the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) group.
PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan stated in an interview with the Iraqi television network Zelal in 2013 that "I founded the PYD as I did the PJAK."
Formed in 1978, the PKK terrorist group has been fighting the Turkish state for an independent state, although it shifted its goal towards autonomy in later years. Its terror campaign has caused the deaths of more than 40,000 people. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union.
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