DUBAI, March 18 – Turkey repeated on Monday that it and Iran were carrying out a joint operation against Kurdish militants, despite a denial from Tehran that it was involved.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the joint operation targeting militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) on Monday was the first of its kind and that he hoped more would follow.
It was not clear where the operation was happening.
Earlier on Monday, Iran‘s semi-official Fars news agency reported that its army denied involvement in the operation, after Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said both countries were carrying out a joint operation against the PKK.
“The Turkish army carried out the operation against the PKK, but Iran‘s armed forces were not part of the operation,” a source at Iran‘s armed forces told Fars.
“Iran‘s armed forces will severely counter any group that intends to create insecurity in our country,” the source added.
It was not immediately clear why the two countries were offering contradictory accounts.
(Reporting by Ece Toksabay in Ankara; Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Alison Williams, William Maclean)