According to a recently published Pentagon analysis, the PKK terror group is coordinating with Iran-backed militia groups against Turkish forces in northern Iraq.
Iran-backed militants have recently “increased attacks against Turkish forces in Iraq and Syria,” the Lead Inspector General of the US-led anti-Daesh/ISIS coalition said in a quarterly report, with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) further assessing that the militias “probably will continue to coordinate” with the PKK.
The declassified report said, “Following Turkish airstrikes in February that targeted the PKK in northern Iraq, a new Iran-aligned militia group conducted a rocket attack against a Turkish expeditionary base north of Mosul.”
The report added, “The DIA said the militias probably calculate that their attacks against Turkey will deter Turkey from attacking the PKK in federal Iraq while enhancing their public image as defenders of Iraqi sovereignty.”
Turkey, the US, and the EU have designated the PKK as a terrorist organization.
Since 2020, Turkey has launched successive operations against the PKK in northern Iraq, most recently starting Operation Claw-Lock in April to target PKK hideouts in Iraq’s Metina region.
Operations Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle preceded the most recent operation, which were launched in 2020 to root out terrorists who hide in northern Iraq and plot cross-border attacks in the region.