Iran targeted PDKI bases in two-day shelling of Kurdistan Region: statement
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An Iranian-Kurdish opposition party on Wednesday claimed that Iranian forces had bombarded its outposts inside the Kurdistan Region for a second day, reporting also that there had been no casualties among its ranks.
The Iranian bombings came after Turkey launched a massive operation in purported efforts to target positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), striking multiple areas inside the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, including the surroundings of the Makhmour refugee camp, the Yezidi hometown of Shingal, and the Qandil Mountains.
One round of Iranian shelling of areas inside the Kurdistan Region began Tuesday, and attacks resumed near the same border areas early Wednesday, leading to rural populations fleeing, fearing for their lives. Kurdish armed groups opposing Iran have maintained bases in the Kurdistan Region, and their affiliates have carried out attacks against Iranian soldiers.
The bases of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) “are the target of this artillery bombardment” by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the PDKI said in a statement that condemned the attacks.
“The terrorist organization of IRGC used cannons and Katyusha in this attack, and the IRGC reconnaissance drones have been constantly flying in the area for the past two days,” the party added.
Tehran describes opposition groups that have been fighting the Iranian government for Kurdish rights as “terrorist” organizations. The US designated the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in April 2019.
The PDKI statement added that “there have not been any reported casualties,” but the “indiscriminate shelling of the area” had damaged nearby farms.
The PDKI also urged international organizations and foreign governments to “to speak up against this criminal behavior of Iranian regime.” It also called on the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to respond to the “violation” committed by Tehran.
While Iraq condemned the Turkish assaults, it has not commented on the Iranian operations, which were also not reported on IRGC-affiliated media outlets.
Iran has previously struck outposts and bases of Kurdish opposition groups in the mountainous areas of Kurdistan. Such operations by the Iranian government have also led to civilian casualties in the Kurdistan Region in the past, killing a teenage girl in one July 2019 incident.
In September 2018, the IRGC launched what it claimed was a cross-border operation in which it used land-to-land missiles across a 220-kilometer distance to target the headquarters of the PDKI and the Kurdistan Democratic Party-Iran (KDP-I), outside the town of Koya, in Erbil province.
The attack reportedly killed 15 and injured 42 more. That same day, Tehran also executed three Kurdish political prisoners on death row.
In May, multiple clashes took place between Iranian forces and Kurdish opposition groups near the Iran-Kurdistan Region borders, leading to close to a dozen casualties on the IRGC side as well as the Iranian border guards.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany