Turkey says will chase PKK fighters inside Iraq without “permission”

Turkish soldiers

Ankara ( – Turkish President Recep Tayyeb Erdogan has vowed that his country will track down on Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters inside Iraqi territories even without Baghdad’s approval if no action was taken by the Iraqi government to deter this group.

Speaking at an opening ceremony of a number of new schools and gymnasiums in Istanbul on Monday, Erdogan said if Baghdad fails to confront the PKK in its northern and Kurdish provinces, Ankara will be forced to act unilaterally and extend its operations into Iraqi territory, according to Rudaw.

“If you can deal with them, deal with them, or else we will come to Sinjar and deal with them. We do not ask for permission from anyone, nor do we look into anyone’s eyes for all this,” said Erdogan.

He noted that PKK fighters may flee across international borders, but they cannot hide from the Turkish armed forces.

Indirectly addressing Turkey’s military, Erdogan said, “You may hear new goals at any moment.”

“Today, Turkey finds terror organization in their dens at the border and breathes down their necks.”

“They [terrorists] are hiding, we are chasing them. What happened? They ran off to Syria, to Afrin, to Sinjar [Shingal],” Erdogan said.

PKK recently announced it was pulling out from Iraq’s Sinjar having become assured that Islamic State extremists were no longer a threat to the Kurdish-speaking Yazidi minority there.

PKK has been active in Sinjar since 2014, when Islamic State militants proclaimed a self-styled “caliphate” in Iraq and neighboring Syria.

Turkey brands PKK fighters as terrorists, and has launched regular airstrikes on their locations in northern Iraq. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said recently that Turkey was planning to launch an offensive against the group in Sinjar, a step which Iraqi officials rejected officially.

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