Iran Guards say strike 'terrorists' in Iraqi Kurdistan

Tehran (AFP) –


Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Friday that they had launched deadly strikes against "terrorists" across the border in Iraqi Kurdistan.

"Terrorist camps and training centres were attacked from Wednesday," with rockets, drones and artillery, the Guards said in a statement published by their official website Sepahnews.

The statement did not name the groups targeted in the strikes, but said they were behind efforts to "disrupt security" in Iran.

Iran had warned authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan not to allow "terrorist groups" to set up training camps close to the border with Iran, the statement said, but the warning "had not been heeded".

The statement claimed the targeted groups had tried to use "villagers as human shields" and asked the "noble people of Iraqi Kurdistan to distance themselves from the terrorist camps".

Ehsan Shalabi, mayor of Sidekan -- north of autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan's capital Arbil -- told AFP a female civilian was killed and two members of her family wounded Thursday when "a rocket hit their agricultural land".

The strike targeted "the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan", he said, referring to the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), Iran's oldest Kurdish separatist group.

The group was banned after the 1979 Islamic revolution and appeared to resume operations in 2016 after a long truce.

In September 2018 the Guards launched a missile attack against the party's headquarters in Koysinjaq, around 60 kilometres (35 miles) east of Arbil.

According to the KDPI that strike killed 15 and wounded around 30 others including the party's secretary general and his predecessor.

The Guards said the Wednesday strikes were partly in response to a deadly attack Tuesday against them in Piranshahr, West Azerbaijan Province.

Sepahnews reported that three members of the Guards were killed and another wounded in an attack on one of their vehicles by "terrorists affiliated to global arrogance."

On Thursday the Guards said they had killed five "terrorists" in clashes near the western border with Iraq.