Turkey, Iran Carried Out Joint Operations Against 'Kurdish Militants,' Says Minister

Operation comes after two Turkish soldiers were killed and eight others were wounded on Saturday in a clash during operations into northern Iraq

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters during a rally for the upcoming local elections, in Istanbul, Turkey March 12, 2019.
REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Turkey, Iran carried out joint operations against 'Kurdish militants,' said Turkey's interior minister on Monday. 

Turkey and Iran carried out a joint operation against militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) on Monday, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said according to state-owned media.

"We started carrying out an operation with Iran against the PKK on our eastern border this morning (and) will announce the result," news agency Anadolu quoted Solyu as saying. State broadcaster TRT Haber also cited him commenting on the operation.

Turkey's military regularly carries out air strikes against PKK militants in northern Iraq and has carried out operations to arrest alleged members of the group inTurkey. The PKK is deemed a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union.

Two Turkish soldiers were killed and eight others were wounded on Saturday in a clash during operations into northern Iraq,Turkey's defense ministry said.

Six militants, including a woman, were "neutralised" during the operations, the ministry said in a statement. The Turkish army uses the term neutralise when it has killed, captured or wounded combatants

Turkey regularly carries out air strikes on PKK bases in northern Iraq, as President Tayyip Erdogan pursues his aim of ending the militant group's presence nearTurkey's borders.

The PKK, considered a terrorist organisation by the United States, the European Union and Turkey, has waged a three-decade insurgency in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast that has killed about 40,000 people.