Turkey, Iraq, and Iran Consider Joint Military Action Against Kurds

Turkish FM Says Possibility of Attacking Kurds 'On the Table'

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu today warned that every option is on the table for dealing with Iraqi Kurdistan’s independence bid, and that they are considering a joint military operation with the Iraqi central government against the Kurds.

Iran chimed in shortly thereafter, saying they’re eager to stand with both Iraq and Turkey to rule out any possible secession of the Kurds. Top Khamenei adviser Ali Akbar Velayati termed the big “an abhorrent deviation,” adding that the region would “not allow the creation of a second Israel.”

Iraqi officials haven’t directly addressed the possibility of military action against the Kurds, though the Iraqi parliament has approved the deployment of the military into areas contested by the Kurdistan Regional Government.

It’s long been feared Kurdistan’s independence would mean a fight. Kurdish officials have spent the last several years building up the Peshmerga into a substantial, US-armed fighting force, though it’s not at all clear they could hold their own against three nations at once.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was a lot more direct about what is being discussed here, warning that the secession attempt could lead to an “ethnic war” of the region against the Kurds.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.