Terrorist PKK faces joint pressure from Turkey-US-Iraq trio
Ankara urging the US and the regional administration in northern Iraq to take more concrete steps against the terrorist PKK has started to pay off, with Turkish, US and Iraqi officials meeting in Turkey's southeastern Silopi district yesterday to discuss joint measures against the terrorist group, which has escalated its violence campaign in recent months, killing dozens of Turkish soldiers. Turkey asked for active intelligence support from the northern Iraqi regional administration, which recently began to block PKK operatives from moving back and forth between Europe and Kandil, northern Iraq, where it has bases. In the face of the rising attacks, Turkey has recently increased its pressure on the US, Iraq (and particularly the northern Iraqi regional administration), and EU countries to concretely support its fight against the terrorist group. During yesterday's meeting, the mutual establishment of new border security units was also discussed. Turkey's Ambassador in Baghdad Murat Ozcelik last week met with Massoud Barzani, the leader of the regional administration, to convey Turkey's demands that his administration do more to fight the terrorist PKK. Turkey asked Barzani to use its authority to cripple the PKK's communication network in the region, cut its logistics, and block the mobility of the terrorist group members in the region as well as to prevent them from going to Europe. In related news, in a major operation, Syrian security forces yesterday arrested as many as 400 PKK members and supporters in the country, which has enjoyed stronger ties with Turkey in recent years.