Iraq Approves Turkish Military Operations Against Border Kurds

Turkey will 'purge the borders' of Kurdish fighters

Turkey and Iraq have long had tensions along their common border, but souring relations between Iraq and its Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) seem to be convincing Iraq to cooperate closer with the Turks.

Turkish forces operate near Iraqi border

Turkish officials are now saying Iraq has formally approved of military operations along the border targeting Kurdish “terrorist pockets” in those areas. Iraq’s Justice Minister confirmed the deal, saying the situation requires new agreements.

This comes just a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced maassive expansions in the war against Syria’s Kurds, suggesting an expansion into Iraq, saying that one day Turkish troops could end up in Sinjar, a Yazidi (ethnic Kurdish) town in Iraq.

While Iraq isn’t likely to be okay with Turkey capturing towns, they seem more than willing to look the other way at attacks on Kurdish factions along the border. The factions in this region are largely aligned with Turkey’s PKK, which also isn’t on the best of terms with the KRG, so the KRG may not object too loudly either.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of