Iran, Kurdish rebels both claim multiple deaths in heavy fighting

Both Iranian forces and Kurdish rebels announced over 10 dead on the opposite side on Saturday in sustained fighting in northeastern Iran the night before.
author_image John J. Catherine

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Both Iranian forces and Kurdish rebels announced over ten dead on the opposite side on Saturday in sustained fighting in northeastern Iran the night before near the town of Oshnavieh (Shno), not far from the border of the Kurdistan Region.

"Heavy clashes erupted between Kurdistan’s #Peshmerga Forces and #Iran’s terrorist #IRGC at 01:00," read an online statement released by the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), adding, "The clash lasted for 5 hours and according to initial reports 12 IRGC terrorist were killed."

According to an Iranian statement, a "ground force" of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) successfully repelled an attack by "a well-equipped terrorist team affiliated with international arrogance and foreign intelligence services intending to infiltrate the country from the border area," killing 11 of them.

The IRGC claims, as reported by the Iranian Mashregh news agency, included that they seized "significant amounts of weapons, ammunition, and communication equipment."

Neither groups' statement addressed casualties among their own numbers.

Kurdish opposition parties, who state that they fight for the liberation of the people of Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhilat), often carry out armed operations against government forces.

On July 25, the PDKI announced that two of their fighters had been killed two weeks earlier, while “paying visits to the family of martyrs and members and friends of the party,” in West Azerbaijan Province, in which Shno is also located.

A month earlier, they claimed to have killed an IRGC commander in the city of Piranshahr.

On July 21, the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), claimed responsibility for an attack that killed at least 10 Iranian border guards in another nighttime attack, outside the town of Marivan (Mariwan).

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.