Iran continues to make inroads into Iraq by supporting the PKK

Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Al Quds Force, the armed wing of the Iranian Pasdaran, wants to deepen the fledgling alliance between Tehran and the PKK. He met Cemil Bayik, one of the main military chiefs of the Kurdish organisation in Turkey (IOL 748), on Christmas Eve in the town of Suleimani. Suleimani is the bastion of the UPK, the party of the Talabani clan which is close to Iran and Baghdad and fiercely opposed to the Barzanis’ PDK, which heads the Kurdish Regional Government and is supported by the West and Turkey. The latter is focused on the fight against the PKK. Suleimani promised to continue to provide support to the PKK and for the opening of a major office of the organisation in Baghdad.