Iran Fires Artillery Against Iraqi Kurds in Apparent Support of Turkish Offensive

UAE slams Turkey and Iraq for offensive at Arab League

As Turkey begins its latest offensive against Iraq’s northernmost Kurdish region, artillery being fired from neighboring Iran is also hitting the area. This is leading locals to conclude that Iran, which has its own axe to grind with the PKK, is participating in Turkey’s campaign.

Iran isn’t saying anything officially about this, with Iranian state media covering it purely as a Turkish operation and not mentioning Iranian involvement at all. Other nations, however, are going after Iran as a co-belligerent.

At the Arab League, the United Arab Emirates issued a statement blaming Turkey and Iran for “violating the sovereignty of a sisterly Arab country.” Iraq’s own statement condemned Turkey on similar grounds, but did not mention Iran either way.

Gulf Arab states already have a problem with Turkey over Libya, as Turkey backed the GNA, and the UAE and all the other Gulf Arab states were supporting Gen. Khalifa Hafter’s attempted coup. This makes this a potential spill-over of tensions, but Turkey’s offensives tend to accomplish little in Iraq, and that’s unlikely to change.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of