Turkey, Iran to stage joint raid against Kurd rebels

Turkish interior minister did not reveal which PKK bases will the operation target. (AFP)
Updated 06 March 2019

Turkey, Iran to stage joint raid against Kurd rebels

  • Turkey and other Western countries list the Kurdistan Workers Party as a terror group
  • Iranian security forces have clashed with an affiliate group of PKK in Iran

ISTANBUL: Neighbors Turkey and Iran will carry out a joint operation against Kurdish rebels, state-run Anadolu news agency quoted the interior minister as saying on Wednesday.
"God willing, we will carry out a joint operation against the PKK together with Iran," Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said, referring to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party listed as a terror group by Ankara and Western allies.
Soylu did not specify which PKK bases the planned operation would target but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously said it would be against militant hideouts in Iraq.
Turkey has battled the PKK for decades, while the Iranian security forces have also fought its affiliate, the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK). Both groups have rear bases in neighboring Iraq.
In 2017, Erdogan said a joint Turkish-Iranian operation against Kurdish militants was "always on the agenda".
He added that the two countries', military chiefs had discussed how to work against Kurdish militants, but Iran's Revolutionary Guards denied that at the time.
The PKK has waged a three-and-a-half decade insurgency against the Turkish state seeking independence, and more recently autonomy, for Turkey's Kurdish minority, that has left tens of thousands dead.
The Turkish military has often bombed PKK bases in Iraq's mountainous regions.
Despite backing opposing sides in the Syrian conflict, both neighbours, which see themselves as historically powerful regional leaders, have recently been working with Syria-regime backer Russia towards a political solution to the crisis.


Queues build at Lebanese banks reopening after one-week closure

Updated 28 min 21 sec ago

Queues build at Lebanese banks reopening after one-week closure

  • Banks have mostly been closed since protests erupted against Lebanon’s ruling elite on Oct. 17
  • Seeking to avoid capital flight, the Association of Banks in Lebanon announced on Sunday that cash withdrawals would be limited to $1,000 a week
BEIRUT: Queues built as Lebanese banks reopened on Tuesday after a one-week closure, with police deployed at branches and banks imposing tight restrictions on hard currency withdrawals and transfers abroad.
Banks have mostly been closed since protests erupted against Lebanon’s ruling elite on Oct. 17. They reopened after a two-week closure on Nov. 1, but shut again a week later because of a strike by staff who complained of intimidation from clients demanding their cash.
Seeking to avoid capital flight, the Association of Banks in Lebanon announced on Sunday that cash withdrawals would be limited to $1,000 a week and transfers abroad would be restricted to urgent personal spending only.
The central bank has said deposits are safe and that it has the capacity to maintain the value of the Lebanese pound, which is pegged to the US dollar.
In Beirut’s Hamra area, around 50 people were waiting at a branch of Blom Bank shortly after it opened, a witness said.
In the Sodeco area of the capital, about 20 people each were waiting at another branch of Blom Bank and at a branch of Bank Audi, a witness said.
“Everyone has a lack of trust, there’s a state of panic, and people’s feelings are justifiable because no one is giving them any trust,” said a customer at the bank, who declined to give his name.
In the southern city of Sidon, around 50 people were waiting at a branch of Blom Bank ahead of opening, a witness said.