ARBIL, Iraq AFP)–The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on Monday warned Iraq and Turkey against launching any crackdown on the separatist movement after both countries agreed to end its safe haven on the frontier.
“The Iraqi government should not interfere in the conflict between us and Turkey”, spokesman Abdelrahman Chadarchi told AFP by telephone from the Qandil mountains on the Iraq-Iran border. “If they plan to strike at the PKK politically or militarily, Iraq and Turkey will pay the price and the crises in Iraq and Turkey will deepen”, he added without elaborating.
Chadarchi denied that his party received military aid from either Iraqi Kurds or the United States. On August 7 Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a document of cooperation to end the safe haven that separatist Turkish Kurd rebels enjoy in Kurdish-run northern Iraq.
“We said (in the memorandum of understanding) that we will cooperate against terrorist organisations, notably the PKK,” Maliki said in Ankara. Turkey has threatened cross-border strikes at PKK bases in neighbouring northern Iraq if Baghdad and Washington fail to curb the rebels. The PKK has stepped up its attacks inside Turkey this year.
Ankara says the PKK, which has been fighting for self-rule in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast since 1984, enjoys free movement in northern Iraq, where it obtains weapons and explosives.