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Iraq, KRG, Turkey find common ground in response to PKK

Kurdish group increasingly isolated; meanwhile, Syrian Kurds boxed in by Turkey, Russia and Assad.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi was in Ankara this week for meetings with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Both countries want strong bilateral ties. They share a border, as well as common water sources, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which flow to Iraq from Turkey. There is also talk of expanding energy cooperation and trade. 

But the headline was their deepening commitment to counterterrorism cooperation — including against the Islamic State (IS), but more surprisingly against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Baghdad’s already thin patience with the PKK’s presence in Iraq, and the problems this causes in Iraqi-Turkish relations, is growing short.

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