Iran claims missile attack on Kurdish dissidents based in Iraq
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards fired seven missiles in an attack on Iraq-based Iranian Kurdish dissidents that killed at least 11 people on Saturday, the elite military unit was reported as saying by Iranian news agencies on Sunday.
Iraqi Kurdish officials said Iran attacked the base of an Iranian Kurdish armed opposition group in northern Iraq on Saturday, killing at least 11 people and wounding scores more.
“In a successful operation, the Guards’ aerospace unit, along with the army’s drone unit … targeted a criminal group’s meeting and a terrorist training center with seven short-range surface-to-surface missiles,” the Revolutionary Guards said in a statement carried by the semi-official news agency Fars.
The statement said the attack was prompted by a decision of “group leaders to ignore serious warnings by officials of the Kurdistan Regional Government about Iran’s determination to dismantle their bases … and the need for an end to terrorist and aggressive actions against Iran”.
Armed Iranian Kurdish groups operate in remote and mountainous Iran-Iraq border regions. Despite sporadic clashes between Iranian forces and militants, there is little coordination between Iranian and Iraqi forces over security of an area that has also been used by Islamic State to enter Iran.
The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, an armed opposition group fighting for greater autonomy for Iran’s Kurdish community, posted on Twitter pictures and video of explosions, as well as of the wounded, at its headquarters in Koya, in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
Turkey has also ramped up air strikes on Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) bases in northern Iraq this year. It routinely targets the PKK stronghold in the Qandil mountains, near the border with Iran, where Ankara suspects high-ranking members of the militant group are located.