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Turkey announces operation against Kurdish rebels

March 18, 2019

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey has announced a military operation against Kurdish militants along its eastern border with Iran.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu says the operation against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, began Monday. He described it as a joint operation with Iran, but Iran’s official IRNA news service quoted an unnamed military official as saying Iranian forces were not involved.

The PKK has been waging an insurgency for more than three decades, and is considered a terror group by Turkey and its Western allies. Turkey regularly conducts airstrikes in northern Iraq against PKK camps and has cracked down on the group and alleged supporters since a peace process collapsed in 2015.

The PKK-affiliated Kurdistan Free Life Party, or PJAK, was formed in 2004 to fight for Kurdish autonomy in Iran.