Iran’s Kurdish guerillas make US terror list; Turkey bombs Iraq again

The US Treasury Department Feb. 4 branded the Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK), which is waging a low-level guerilla insurgency in the Kurdish regions of Iran, as a terrorist organization. The group is a front for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has been fighting the Turkish government for 25 years, said Stuart Levey, US Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. Levey said PJAK’s armed wing, the East Kurdistan Defense Forces, had recently been recalled to Iraqi territory on the orders of the PKK, in apparent move to bring them under greater control. (Reuters, Feb. 4)

“With today’s action, we are exposing PJAK’s terrorist ties to the PKK and supporting Turkey’s efforts to protect its citizens from attack,” said Levey. The Turkish Foreign Ministry and military immediately hailed the decision. “PJAK is a terrorist organization, we see the US putting it on its terror list as a positive development,” said Brig. Gen. Metin Gürak, head of the General Staff’s communications department. (Zaman, Feb. 6)

Turkish General Staff announced two days later new air strikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq during the last two days, the official Anatolia news agency reported. Brig. Gen. Gürak was quoted as saying that Turkish warplanes hit PKK targets in Hakurk region during Feb. 4-5. (Xinhua, Feb. 6)

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