Kurdish Iranian fighters kill three IRGC members, one police officer
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Two different Kurdish Iranian (Rojhilati) armed rebel groups claimed to have killed three Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) members and a law enforcement officer in two separate attacks on Tuesday in provinces that border the Kurdistan Region.
According to the groups, one incident took place in West Azerbaijan Province’s Sardasht District and the other in Ravansar, located in the province of Kermanshah (Kermashan).
A statement by the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (PDKI) claimed that, in the first attack, several fighters opened fire on an IRGC base near the village of Dewallan, in Sardasht. During the armed exchange, three officers stationed at the base were killed, two of them said to have held a high rank.
On the previous day, the PDKI had vowed to take revenge for the death of six of their Peshmerga who perished in an earlier attack that also resulted in the death of 12 IRGC members.
“Due to the lack of opportunity to transfer the three injured Peshmergas, and following a heroic battle that lasted for over two hours, the three injured Peshmergas took their own lives with hand grenades,” read a statement.
After the fighting had stopped and the surviving PDKI fighters had fled, the IRGC responded by bombarding nearby mountainous areas where the rebel group is known to operate. Iran has not publicly stated whether or not any casualties have resulted, while Kurdish groups claim that local residents' property sustained heavy damage.
In the second attack, according to a newly-formed Rojhilati armed group called the Warriors of the Red Flag, its members killed a policeman in Kermanshah Province for “years of pain” he had inflicted upon the local Kurdish population.
Asoy Rojhilat, a news outlet of the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan, relayed the statement of the group on Thursday, which claimed that they had killed Maliki because of his constant harassment of political activists' families and other Kurdish citizens in Rwansar.
The Deputy-Chief of the Intelligence Office of the Kermanshah Police told Iranian news agency Tasnim that Major Hassan Maliki, a law enforcement officer in the town of Ravansar (Rwansar), was near his home when an armed man—later confirmed to be a member of the Warriors of the Red Flag—shot him multiple times until he died.
Recently, clashes between Rojhilati groups and the IRGC have escalated as public pressure on the regime continues to rise against the backdrop of popular dissatisfaction, re-imposed US sanctions, and a collapsing currency.
“More than the sanctions, economic mismanagement [by the government] is putting pressure on ordinary Iranians,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday.
Since September, the country has seen sporadic protests in several cities, with demonstrators complaining of a poor economy and governmental corruption and demanding an end to the regime’s interventionism in Middle-Eastern affairs.
Rojhilati parties visited Washington in mid-June to discuss the future of Iran and the question of “regime change” with US-based think-tanks, political analysts, and Middle-East experts.
In separate interviews with Kurdistan 24 shortly after their visit, Komala Secretary-General Abdullah Mohtadi affirmed that changing the regime was “a task for the people [of Iran],” while Mustafa Hijri, leader of Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (PDKI), spoke of a US openness to “consider [PDKI and Komala] suggestions.”
Editing by John J. Catherine