ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Fighters from a Kurdish-Iranian opposition group on Sunday clashed with an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) unit, which was stationed at the border with the Kurdistan Region, a media outlet affiliated with the armed group said.
IRGC troops “attacked Kurdish Kulbar and fired upon them” at the mountainous areas between Piranshahr and Choman, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan’s (PDKI) official website reported.
A Kurdistan Peshmerga Force team, which was in the vicinity of the incident, retaliated immediately to protect the defenseless Kulbar (border couriers) and the IRGC unit were forced to flee the scene, the report claimed.
Upon their retreat, Iranian artillery began shelling the mountainous region to target the fighters, it added. Iranian media outlets have not published any information about the skirmish. There have been no reports of casualties.
Kulbar is a Kurdish term used for individuals who smuggle small amounts of goods between the borders of the Kurdistan Region and Iran (“kul” meaning “back” and “bar” meaning “carrying”). Members of Iran’s border guards continually target them, and hundreds of casualties are reported each year.
Though illegal, it is a local practice that has long been accepted as a norm in the economically undeveloped areas where many residents depend on it for their livelihoods despite the risk from Iranian forces.
On Monday, IRGC troops battled another Kurdish opposition group reported to have been the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) about 260 kilometers north near the Iran-Turkish border. They killed one fighter, injured two more, and arrested a fourth one.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany