Iran once more launched lethal missile and drone strikes in a single day into Monday in opposition to Iranian Kurdish opposition teams based mostly in Iraq whom it accuses of stoking unrest contained in the Islamic republic.
One Kurdish peshmerga fighter was reported killed in mountainous northern Iraq, the place two of the teams mentioned their bases had been focused within the newest such barrage of aerial assaults in current months.
Iran has been shaken by greater than two months of protests sparked by the demise of Kurdish-Iranian girl Mahsa Amini, 22, after her arrest for allegedly breaching the strict costume code for ladies.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has repeatedly struck Kurdish dissident teams based mostly in Iraq, which it labels “separatist anti-Iranian terrorist teams”.
One of many teams, the Democratic Social gathering of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), mentioned it was hit with missiles and suicide drones in Koya and Jejnikan, close to Arbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.
“A member of the peshmerga was killed in an Iranian strike” within the Koya space, mentioned get together official Ali Boudaghi.
“These indiscriminate assaults are occurring at a time when the terrorist regime of Iran is unable to cease the continued demonstrations in (Iranian) Kurdistan,” mentioned the PDKI, the oldest Kurdish get together in Iran.
The Iranian Kurdish nationalist group Komala mentioned its headquarters was additionally focused.
“We have been rigorously ready for these kind of assaults & haven’t any losses for the second,” it mentioned on Twitter.
The federal government in autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan condemned the strikes.
Late Monday, Iraq’s federal authorities issued its personal denunciation which “strongly” condemned the Iranian strikes.
The overseas ministry mentioned Iraq ought to neither be “a battleground or space for settling scores,” nor a base for “harming neighbouring international locations.”
Iran’s Guards charged that the Kurdish teams are backed by “the worldwide conceitedness”, code for arch foe the US.
It mentioned it had focused their “headquarters and conspiracy centres” in Iraq and that “the terrorists have been struck and suffered heavy casualties”.
The US Central Command, which oversees US navy operations within the Center East, condemned the “unlawful” Iranian strikes.
“Such indiscriminate and unlawful assaults… jeopardise the hard-fought safety and stability of Iraq and the Center East,” mentioned CENTCOM chief Basic Michael Kurilla.
The United Nations mission in Iraq mentioned in an announcement that “repeated assaults, violating Iraqi sovereignty, should stop”.
In Tehran, Iranian overseas ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani careworn that the Islamic republic “wishes that there be no menace to Iran’s safety from Iraqi territory”.
He mentioned that in two conferences final month, “we insisted with the Iraqi authorities and the Kurdistan area on the truth that this area shouldn’t be a spot of transit of fabric and weapons for use within the unrest.
“To this point, these expectations haven’t been met.”
Requested if Iranian forces would enter Iraqi territory to battle the armed teams, Kanani careworn that Iraq should transfer in opposition to them and safe the widespread border.
He expressed hope Iraq’s authorities would deploy “border guards on the widespread border, in order that Iran doesn’t must take different deterrent measures to repel threats.”
Weak to assaults
Iraqi Kurdistan has because the Eighties hosted a number of Iranian Kurdish opposition teams which have up to now waged an armed rebel in opposition to Tehran.
In recent times their actions have declined, however the brand new wave of protests in Iran has once more stoked tensions.
Rights teams on Monday accused Iranian safety forces of utilizing reside fireplace and heavy weapons to suppress protests in Kurdish-populated areas in Iran’s west, intensifying a lethal crackdown.
Iran’s newest cross-border strikes come lower than every week after related assaults that killed at the least one particular person, and following assaults in late September that killed greater than a dozen individuals.
The Iranian assaults additionally come a day after Turkey carried out air raids in opposition to outlawed Kurdish militants in Iraqi Kurdistan and northern Syria.
The Kurdistan Employees’ Social gathering (PKK), thought-about a terrorist group by Ankara and its Western allies, has fought the Turkish authorities because the mid-Eighties and has lengthy operated rear bases in northern Iraq.
Hamzeh Hadad, a visiting fellow on the European Council on International Relations think-tank, tweeted that, “Regardless of the intention of Tehran is for concentrating on Iraqi Kurdistan, it’s a failure of each Baghdad and Arbil for permitting their territory to be susceptible to overseas assaults.”