Skip to main content

Iraqi Kurds actively support Ankara’s fight against the PKK

Spurred by the killing of a Turkish Consulate staffer in Erbil last month, the Iraqi Kurdish administration is stepping up its cooperation with Turkey to rein in PKK activities in northern Iraq.
ERBIL, IRAQ  - JUNE 10: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (2L) meets KDP Leader Masoud Barzani (2R) in Erbil, Iraq on June 10, 2019.  (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Turkey’s National Security Council said in a statement last week that a cross-border military crackdown on the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the Hakurk region of northern Iraq was “continuing successfully.” The statement stressed that operations Claw-1 and Claw-2, which began in late May and mid-July, respectively, would continue until Hakurk is “fully cleansed” of the PKK.

Al-Monitor reported in June that the Turkish military seeks to establish a permanent presence in Hakurk, which is adjacent to Mount Qandil, the longstanding home base of the PKK and its route for infiltrations into Turkey. Turkey's goal requires it to set up of permanent bases in areas close to the border, such as Kani Rash, Bani, Shapan, Sidekan and Mawana by November, before the onset of harsh winter conditions in the mountainous region. Road construction is underway to ensure supply routes for the bases. Additionally, Ankara wants to reinforce its existing fixed bases in the border regions of Kani Masi, which controls the Metina area to the north, and Amedi and Suri, which control Bamerni and Gara. It will deploy more tanks, mine-resistant vehicles, indirect fire elements and commando units in northern Iraq as well as increased air surveillance and reconnaissance drones.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.