March 20, 2019 / 1:12 PM / 3 months ago

Turkey, Iran commanders agree to continue operations against PKK - Turkish ministry

ANKARA, March 20 (Reuters) - Turkish and Iranian military commanders agreed in a phone call to continue joint operations against militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) for “some time”, Turkey’s Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.

Iran earlier this week denied a Turkish announcement that the two countrie were carrying out a joint operation against the PKK.

Turkey’s Interior Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that Turkish Gendarme Commander Arif Cetin and Iranian Border Forces Commander Qassem Rezai discussed the joint operations.

In a separate phone call Turkish and Iranian deputy interior ministers welcomed the stage reached in the joint operations, the ministry said.

Earlier this week Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey and Iran were carrying out a joint operation against the PKK, describing it as the first of its kind, but an Iranian source said Iran’s armed forces were not part of the operation. (Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Writing by Tuvan Gumrukcu Editing by Dominic Evans)

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