Saturday, February 16, 2019
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Iranian Guards claims missile attack on Kurdish rebels in Iraq

At least 11 people were killed and dozens wounded in Saturday's cross-border attack on Kurdish rebels in Iraq.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) confirmed on Sunday that it had launched deadly missile attacks against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq a day earlier.

Rockets struck the headquarters of two Iranian Kurdish opposition parties in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region with reports saying at least 11 people were killed and 50 others wounded.

The missiles hit the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) in the town of Koya, 300km north of Iraq's capital, Baghdad.

It was the first such attack since 1996. 

"The terrorists' headquarters ... was successfully struck by seven surface-to-surface rockets on Saturday by the missile department of the Guards' aerospace force," the IRGC said on its Sepah News website on Sunday.

The statement added its drone division was also involved in the attack.

According to Soran Louri, spokesman for the KDPI, which is blacklisted as a "terrorist" group by Tehran, the death toll in the rare cross-border attack was 15, he told AFP news agency.

About 30 others were wounded, according to local medical sources.

'Terrorist teams'

Iranian state television showed images of the missiles being launched and drone footage of the impact.

"The punishment of transgressors was planned following the recent months' wicked acts by terrorists from the Kurdistan realm against the Islamic Republic's borders," the IRGC statement said.

It cited incursions by numerous "terrorist teams" into Iran's West Azarbaijan, Kurdistan and Kermanshah provinces bordering Iraq.

KDPI recently clashed with Revolutionary Guards forces in the towns of Marivan and Kamyaran in Iran's own Kurdistan region.

The Kurdish group was holding a meeting at the time of the missile attacks, and the party's secretary-general and his predecessor were among the wounded, according to one of its officials.  

The headquarters is in Koysinjaq, 60km east of Erbil, capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.

Bilal Wahab from The Washington Institute said the attack was retaliation for the groups' increased "activism and militancy" inside Iranian territory.

"Some of these Iranian Kurdish opposition groups have been trying to approach Washington, DC, and find a foothold in the increased American effort in curbing Iranian influence in the region. So this is very specific to Iran's enemies," Wahab said. 

Territorial violation

Iraq's foreign ministry denounced the Iranian missile strike.

"Iraq protects the security of its neighbours and does not allow its territory to be used to threaten these countries," spokesman Ahmed Mahjoub said in a statement.

"But it categorically rejects the violation of its territorial sovereignty by strikes against certain targets on its territory with previous coordination."

KDPI is Iran's oldest Kurdish movement and has seen several of its leaders assassinated by Tehran in the past.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

Israeli air raids kill five Palesti...

Read More

Fierce fighting 'eases' in Hodeidah...

Read More

Saudis discussed killing enemies a ...

Read More

Khashoggi killing: Demand for justi...

Read More

Israel kills seven Palestinians in ...

Read More

UK calls for end to Yemen war, Khas...

Read More

Most Read Articles

Most Read News


Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:



Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Israel pounds Gaza

India's Kerala state devastated

Capturing life under apartheid