Iraq Bans PKK, Pledges Increased Cooperation with Turkey in Joint Statement

In a joint statement with Turkey, Iraq announced that it has designated the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as a banned organization, stating that the group “poses a security threat to Turkey and Iraq, and noted that the presence of the organization in question on Iraqi soil means that it violated the Iraqi Constitution.”

Likewise, the two countries pledged “to implement the Joint Standing Committees that will work exclusively in the fields of combating terrorism, trade, agriculture, energy, water, health and transportation.”

The announcement comes Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged in January to increase military operations against the PKK in Iraq and Syria, stating that “Hopefully, this summer, we will have permanently resolved the issue regarding our Iraqi borders. Our will to create a security corridor 30-40 kilometers deep along our Syrian borders remains intact. We have preparations that will give new nightmares to those who think that they will bring Turkey to its knees with a ‘terroristan’ along its southern borders.”