ANKARA Ñ Iran has launched an offensive against Kurdish insurgents.
Kurdish sources said Iranian military and security units raided
strongholds of the Kurdish Workers Party along the border with Iraq.
The Ankara-based Milliyet daily reported on Monday that Turkey has also
increased forces along the Iraqi border. The newspaper said Turkey and Iran
are cooperating in military operations against the PKK.
The sources said several PKK members were killed and at least seven were
captured. They said the PKK insurgents were trying to escape to Armenia.
On Monday, Turkish sources said Iranian forces killed a suspected smuggler who
tried to cross the border.
The Iranian attack was said to have been in response to a PKK strike
against Iranian forces. The strike on June 21 killed eight Iranian soldiers.
The sources said the PKK has used northern Iraq as a staging ground for
attacks against both Iran and Turkey. They said Iran's military has warned
the PKK to leave the frontier along the Iraqi border.
The semi-official Anatolia news agency reported that 1,000 PKK
insurgents have sought safe haven along the Iranian-Iraqi border. The agency
also reported a PKK battle with Iranian forces on June 18, stemming from a
demand by Teheran for the PKK to evacuate a military camp at Doli Goze.
On Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said the military would
maintain a presence in northern Iraq. He said Turkey does not have
territorial ambitions in the area.
"Terrorist organizations that has activities against Turkey should not
shelter in the region," Gul said. "We will stay there until the solution of