عربي | كوردى



Iran says IRGC killed 'large number' of fighters based in Kurdistan Region

Iran says IRGC killed 'large number' of fighters based in Kurdistan Region

2019/07/12 | 22:20

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)- These purported retaliatory actions followed an attack on Tuesday in which fighters thought to be affiliated to the KDP-I killed three IRGC members in an apparent ambush on a military vehicle near the Rojhilati border city of Piranshahr, located in West Azerbaijan Province.

A day later, Iranian artillery bombarded Kurdistan Region areas close to Piranshahr, targeting bases of the armed group. Shells struck a civilian home, killing a teenage girl and wounding two of her brothers. The casualties caused immediate condemnations by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), both of Tehran's shelling and the fighters’ use of Kurdistan Region territory as a launchpad to attack IRGC forces. 

Read More: After death of teenage girl, KRG demands Iran stop shelling Kurdistan Region

In a separate skirmish that same day, border troops “destroyed” a team of Kurdish fighters that “intended to infiltrate” Iranian territory through the country’s western perimeter, the Tasnim agency reported. The IRGC forces, stationed at the Najaf Ashraf Base, attacked the fighters near the city of Javanrud (Jwanro), in Kermanshah Province and located 250 kilometers southeast of Piranshahr.

The military also shelled mountainous areas surrounding a village in Jwanro County, seeking to strike hideouts of the group, wrote Hengaw, a local monitor that documents and writes about human rights violations against Kurds in Rojhilat. No resulting casualties were reported.

Multiple Kurdish armed groups, often with confusingly similar names, operate throughout the border areas, such as the PDKI and its offshoot KDP-I, the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan and its own two offshoots. Other armed factions include the Kurdistan Freedom Party and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)-affiliated Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK).

These developments coincide with mounting tensions between Iran and the US following crippling sanctions that Washington imposed on Iran, in place now for several months, and over a year after President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 international deal aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear capability.

Since June, Iranian officials have made multiple announcements that their government was reducing its commitments laid out by the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), which it appears to have breached. According to Tehran, it has gone beyond the uranium enrichment level permitted under the deal as well as exceeding the stockpile of nuclear material the agreement allows it to maintain. 

Iranian artillery fire has been a regular occurrence on the Kurdistan Region’s border areas for years and has resulted in the evacuation of dozens of Kurdish villages.

Turkey also frequently strikes mountainous terrain across its border with the Kurdistan Region, targeting alleged Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions. Such attacks have led to dozens of civilian casualties and repeated pleas from the KRG for both sides to cease their activities on its soil and take their fighting elsewhere. 

Editing by John J. Catherine







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