Iran is not involved in any joint operations with Turkey against the kurdish fighters (PKK) along its borders with the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, an Iranian official told the state-run Tasnim News Agency on Monday, contradicting earlier claims by the Turkish interior minister.
The unnamed official from the Iranian Armed Forces told the state-run Tasnim News Agency that Turkey had unilaterally launched an operation early on Monday in the western part of the country, stressing Iranian forces “do not have any role in this operation”.
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told a Justice and Development Party (AKP) rally in Antalya on Monday that Turkish forces had begun “joint operations” that morning alongside Iran.
On Saturday, the Turkish military revealed two of its soldiers had been killed and eight inured in a skirmish with guerrilla fighters. Turkey said six PKK fighters, including one woman, were killed.
The Kurdistan Region’s mountainous border with Turkey and Iran has long offered kurdish fighters a safe haven from which to launch cross-border operations.
The Turkish state has fought PKK guerillas in the country’s southeast for decades, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths on both sides.