Turkey’s PKK operations and problems with Baghdad on the Iran-Iraq line

Three years ago, Baghdad-born Iraqi Chief of Staff Abdel Amir Rashid Yarallah emphasized that establishing a coordination center between the Iraqi Army and the Peshmerga in Kirkuk would be instrumental in restoring order and stability.

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Turkey's PKK operations and problems with Baghdad on the Iran-Iraq line

Born on August 18, 1964 in Baghdad, Iraqi Chief of Staff Abdel Amir Rashid Yarallah said three years ago that a coordination center between the Iraqi Army and the Peshmerga would return order and stability to Kirkuk.

He then pointed out that the army and the Peshmerga went to the border areas of the country with Turkey to fill the gaps in the border, noting that Turkey brought its forces to the border areas of Zakho and Amedi districts on the border with Dohuk province due to the absence of Iraqi Defense Ministry forces.

Their borders are in shambles and they are still obsessed with Turkey’s reflex to protect its borders.

Lieutenant General Qais Khalaf al-Muhammadawi, Deputy Commander of Joint Operations, and General Giovanni M. Iannucci, Commander of the NATO Mission in Iraq, are in constant cooperation with Yarallah on training files, capacity building and common goals. Because their problem is with Turkey.

When the Iraqi Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Abd al-Alemir Yarallah, visited the US Ain al-Assad Air Base in August 2023, he justified the presence of the occupation forces by saying that the presence of the US-led International Coalition forces was limited and for training purposes.

Iran’s military policy towards Iraq…

Tehran is keeping a tight grip on Iraq. Because the mission of its military forces in Syria is carried out together with the Iraqi Shiite leadership. It controls both the Arab peninsula and Lebanon from here.

During his visit to Baghdad on December 3, 2023, Iranian Chief of General Staff Mohammad Baqeri met with Iraqi Chief of General Staff Abdulemir Yarallah and discussed military cooperation and regional issues.

Now we are learning what those issues are, with Abdel Emir Rashid Yarallah spilling the beans.

Turkey's PKK operations and problems with Baghdad on the Iran-Iraq line 1

The two neighboring countries signed a security agreement in March 2023 following an increase in terrorist attacks by anti-Iranian organizations in Iraqi Kurdistan, especially in the border areas.

Bakrini warned Yarallah that they would not accept the presence and operations of terrorist groups close to their northwestern borders in Iraqi Kurdistan, and threatened a strong response if these areas became a haven for anti-Tehran terrorists.

Tehran and Baghdad’s common terror threat, PJAK.

Iran has very close organic relations with the PKK. The PKK has three camps on the Iran-Turkey border. Of these, the Dole-Koge Camp is located on the border between northern Iraq and Iran and is more of an ideological headquarters for the organization.

Trainings for the PKK’s political activities take place in this camp. In addition, terrorist elements wounded in clashes are treated in the hospital established in this camp. The camp, which has a hospital, school and power plant, is kept empty in winter.

Turkey's PKK operations and problems with Baghdad on the Iran-Iraq line 2

Another camp, Lolan Camp, is located on the banks of the Lolan stream near the Hakurk Valley near the Iranian border. It is reported that the camp houses terrorists who have recently joined the organization.

Kelereş Camp is opposite Başkale in Van, close to the Iran-Iraq border.

PJAK, known as the PKK’s extension in Iran, has changed its strategy in Iran. After its general assembly, the organization announced that they will fight in the political arena from now on and announced that it has established a new formation named Eastern Freedom Organization (KODAR) for this purpose.

The establishment of KODAR was announced by PJAK executives at a press conference held in Qandil Mountain. During the meeting, which was attended by local and foreign journalists, it was stated that the new organization was modeled on the PKK/KCK system.

There is no institutionalization of a single political organization in the Kurdish geography. Political formations in Iraqi Kurdistan are tribal and much more localized.

From this perspective, the PKK, led by Abdullah Öcalan, has a more regional reach in Kurdistan than its rival or other Kurdish organizations.

We all know that the Peshmerga has limited influence in Syria, Iran and Turkey. In fact, the majority of Kurds in Turkey view the Peshmerga as “the Barzani family’s guard regiment”.

The PKK is the regional terrorist organization of the Kurds of Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq. Its most successful region is Rojava in Syria.

The Iraq crisis has opened the door to sustained cooperation between Iran and the United States, hitherto apparent enemies. Since the ‘Irangate scandal’ broke out during the Iran-Iraq war, it has been revealed that the two countries have been secretly cooperating from time to time. Strange as it may seem to Iran’s sympathizers, it is a fact that these two enemies have previously cooperated in the crises in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What does Yarallah mean?

Speaking at an information session in the Iraqi Parliament in the last week of 2023, Yarallah stated that Turkey has 5 main bases in Northern Iraq and said the following;

“I say this despite advice not to discuss these details in public. There are more than 4,000 personnel on the bases.

Turkish operations inside Iraqi territory may increase. Last year they had 40 military posts, today they have 100 posts and they are close to the Zakho and al-Imadiyah areas of Dohuk. We should send army and Peshmerga forces to the empty areas on the border to evacuate them.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazimi said that his country would move forward with the United Nations (UN) Security Council (UNSC) on the Turkish attack that killed 9 people and wounded 23 in a tourist area in the Dohuk province of the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), and said similar things to Jeanine Hennis Plasschaert, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq.

Jeanine Hennis Plasschaert said, “I will testify at the UNSC session about the attack on Iraq.”

Iraqi Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed al-Sahaf said, “Iraq’s message to the UNSC concerns a number of issues. The most important of these issues is the violations against its sovereignty since 2018. In the letter, we documented 22,740 violations by Turkey. The letter also informs the UN Security Council of the risks involved in the recent attack on populated cities inside Iraqi territory. This poses risks for counter-terrorism efforts. The letter includes the names of the dead and wounded.”

Ahmed al-Sahaf, who suffers from temporary memory loss, denied reports that there was an agreement between Ankara and Baghdad allowing Turkey to carry out military operations inside Iraqi territory.

Soon they will come to their senses, or they will.

Due to the events in Dohuk, they have decided to withdraw from the 5th Islamic Solidarity Games planned to be held in Turkey.

The rabbit is upset with the mountain and the mountain doesn’t know!

Selected Bibliography



Türkiye görmeden PKK/ PJAK Hakkâri’den İran’a neden saldırdı?






https://turkish.aawsat.com/home/article/3780376/irak-genelkurmay-başkanı-yarallah-türkiye has-5-bases-in-irak-land


Ömür Ömür Çelikdönmez

Ömür Çelikdönmez: Journalist-Writer. He held various positions in the Turkish Prime Ministry. He writes articles on geopolitics and geostrategy.