Iranian army takes military exercises in Isfahan, Iran, January 28, 2019. (Photo: VCG)
Iran has denied a claim by the Turkish interior minister that it took part in a joint operation on Monday targeting Kurdish rebels in the border area.
In recent weeks, Turkey has talked up the prospects of joint military action with Iran against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and its allies, but Monday marked the first time it had spoken of a joint operation being carried out.
"Iran's armed forces have no role in this operation," the official IRNA news agency quoted an "informed source" in the general staff as saying on Monday evening. However Iran "will forcefully confront any group that seeks to create unrest on our country's soil," the source added.
Turkey, Iran carry out joint operation against Kurdish militants
Earlier on Monday, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu announced that the two countries started staging a joint operation against the PKK on the eastern border.
The PKK is deemed a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union. The Turkish military regularly carries out airstrikes against PKK militants in northern Iraq and has carried out operations to arrest alleged members of the group in Turkey.