Turkey, Iran to share real-time intelligence on PKK

July 30, 2010, Friday/ 17:03:00/ SEDAT GÜNEÇ
Turkey and Iran have decided to cooperate in fighting against terrorist activities in Iran and northern Iraq, including providing real-time intelligence. The decision was solidified over the weekend after a team of Turkish officials, led by Interior Ministry Undersecretary Osman Güneş, visited Tehran and discussed how they might take tangible and mutual steps to fight against terrorists. Now both countries plan to provide real-time intelligence as it concerns the activities and goals of terrorists along the Iran-Iraq border.

The anti-Iranian Kurdish terrorist group Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK), whose guerrillas continue to fight against government forces in Iran’s Kurdish-populated areas, is also believed to be providing financial assistance to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), widely regarded as a terrorist group.

The US branded PJAK a terrorist organization last February and prohibited American citizens from doing business with the group.

Several officials from the Police Department, the General Staff, the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), the Gendarmerie Command and the Turkish Foreign Ministry were also among the group of officials visiting Tehran. Turkish and Iranian officials reportedly focused on the PKK and PJAK’s armed forces. They discussed the camp and its logistical resources and how to effectively mitigate them through joint cooperation.

According to intelligence reports, there are an estimated 600 PJAK member terrorists and nearly 4,000 PKK members in northern Iraq.

Turkey has been fighting the terrorist PKK since it was formed in 1984 with the goal of establishing an autonomous Kurdish state in the eastern and southeastern parts of Turkey. More than 40,000 soldiers and civilians have been killed in the clashes thus far. The PKK has been declared a terrorist organization by several members of the international community, including the US and the EU.

Amongst the many significant decisions made in cooperation with Iranian security forces, the secret security services of both Turkey and Iran have confirmed that they will provide real-time intelligence as part of a two-way process to fight terrorism.

By intercepting terrorists as they plan to smuggle goods from the Iranian border into northern Iraq and by averting terrorist attacks on military outposts along the Turkey-Iraq border, Iranian and Turkish police forces will work as partners. Both countries will also develop a process for extraditing terrorists.

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