Kurdish Peshmerga Deny Supporting Turkey in Iraq Offensive

MP claims ruling KDP, Peshmerga back attack

In the past Turkey has faced loud opposition from Iraq to its military offensives in the country, but that no longer seems to be the case. President Erdogan now reports Iraq is supporting the latest offensive, announced over the weekend. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry insists this is untrue.

The offensive is after the PKK, a banned Turkish-Kurdish group, which may be changing things from Iraq’s perspective, as opposed to a push against an Iraqi group on Iraqi soil

The even bigger surprise came from Kurdish MP Balanbo Mohammad Ali, who reported that Kurdish Peshmerga paramilitary fighters have been sent to support the Turkish troops against the PKK. Ali, a member of the PUK, said this was done at the behest of the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP).

The Peshmerga, however, quickly denied that this was the case, saying that they want Iraqi Kurdish territory to be respected. Iraqi central government officials dismissed the offensive as unilateral Turkish aggression.

Though the Iraqi Kurdish regional government has not historically had the best of relations with the PKK, it is very unusual to see them lined up against fellow Kurds, more so when they’re backing the Erdogan government, which has a reputation for being quite harsh against Turkey’s Kurdish minority.

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.