Iran shells Kurdish village after opposition fighters kill IRGC member: Watchdog
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – In the second such attack on Wednesday, the Iranian military directed artillery fire at mountains bordering a village in the Kurdish Iranian (Rojhilati) province of Kermanshah, local media reported. The action appears to be a response to the death of a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) during a clash earlier in the day with unknown fighters reportedly allied with Iranian opposition groups.
The bombardment targeted the heights of Biyola village, located in Javanrud (Jwanro) District of Kermanshah Province, reported Hengaw, a local monitor that documents and writes about human rights violations against Kurds in Rojhilat. There have so far been no reported casualties resulting from the most recent bombardment.
Earlier in the day, a group of then unidentified gunmen clashed with an IRGC team near Biyola, killing one. The semi-official Fars news agency reported that the man was a retired officer named Mohammed-Khan Soleimani-Nasb from Jwanro.
The agency also reported that the IRGC unit had killed five members of the opposing force.
The shelling came a day after another incident that occurred about 250 kilometers northwest of Jwanro on the outskirts of the Rojhilati border town of Piranshahr, located in West Azerbaijan Province. An armed opposition group, which was later confirmed to be an affiliate of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Iran (KDP-I), killed three IRGC members and injured a fourth.
Tehran followed up this attack similarly and shelled nearby areas as well as a number of villages across the border in the Kurdistan Region's district of Soran. The bombings killed a girl of 18 and injured two of her siblings, one of them 14 years old.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) published a statement shortly thereafter, saying that both events were a cause of “worry and condemnation,” and called on Iran to end its cross-border campaigns. It also called on opposition groups to stop using the region’s territories as a launchpad for attacks into another country.
The frequency of clashes between Iranian forces and opposition groups seem to be on an incline amid spiking tensions between Iran and the US, which includes crippling sanctions that Washington imposed on Iran in place now for several months, over a year after President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 international deal aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear capability.
Since June, Iranian officials have made multiple announcements that their government was reducing its commitments laid out by the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) which it appears to have breached. According to Tehran, it has gone beyond the uranium enrichment level permitted under the deal as well as exceeding the stockpile of nuclear material the agreement allows it to maintain.
Editing by John J. Catherine
(Corrected info to reflect Iranian military confirmation of the number of casualties on the IRGC side, and added five deaths on the side of the unidentified opposition group)