ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A Kurdish opposition party to the Iranian government announced on Wednesday that two of their Peshmerga fighters had been killed on July 12 while “paying visits to the family of martyrs and members and friends of the party,” in West Azerbaijan Province.
The two Peshmerga, “in the evening of July 12, fell into an ambush of Iranian Itelaat [Intelligence] officers,” in the city of Bukan, resulting in the death of both, according to a statement by the media office of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI).
The Peshmerga fighters of various political parties are not to be confused with the Kurdistan Region’s official armed forces wing. Most parties use the Kurdish word to refer to active armed members.
The Itelaat is an agency part of Iran’s armed forces, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The two deceased Peshmerga were Shahab Heydari, born in the city of Mahabad which is also the birthplace of the founder of the PDKI party, and Hezhar Rezai, who comes from a family with three members killed at the hands of Tehran for political activity.
Kurdish opposition parties, who state that they fight for the liberation of the people of Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhilat), carry out armed operations in the Islamic Republic against the Regime’s forces.
A month earlier, they claimed to have killed an IRGC commander in the city of Piranshahr that borders the Kurdistan Region, but the government has yet to confirm or deny it.
The PDKI reignited a conflict with the Islamic Republic in June 2016, 20 years after laying down their weapons in 1996 to prevent jeopardizing Kurdish gains made in northern Iraq.
The Iranian government even attacks the Peshmerga fighters of the Kurdish groups in the Kurdistan Region. Last Tuesday, Iran launched a cross-border shelling, killing two more PDKI members and injuring local civilian Kurds in the Region.
After the attack, the Iranian Deputy Interior Minister for Security Affairs, Hossein Zolfaqari, indirectly criticized the Kurdistan Regional Government on Monday and warned Tehran would take matters into its own hands if Iranian Kurdish groups don’t stop its struggle inside Iran.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany