Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps said Thursday that a missile strike they launched on a Kurdish rebel base in neighboring Iraq last week should serve as a warning to “arrogant foreign powers.”
The IRGC fired seven medium-range ballistic missiles at the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran and Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan parties in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, causing casualties and damage with what they described as a precision strike.
At least 15 KDPI and PDKI leaders and members were killed at the base in Koya and 42 others were injured, according to Kurdistan24.
In response to a question from Kurdistan 24's @vvanwilgenburg, KDP-I spokesperson Aso Hasanzadeh says it is unclear if drones came from Iran or from inside Iraq. But he confirms the missiles came from Iran.#TwitterKurds #Koya pic.twitter.com/GMKKz0DUW6
— Kurdistan 24 English (@K24English) September 12, 2018
“With a range of 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles), our missiles endow the Iranian nation with a unique ability to fight against arrogant foreign powers,” IRGC commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari told the semi-official ISNA news agency on Thursday, September 13.
“All those that have forces, bases and equipment within a 2,000 km radius of Iran’s sacred borders should know that [our] missiles are highly accurate.”
Iranian officials have long referred to the United States as the “world arrogance” and the Guards’ arsenal of medium-range missiles puts U.S. bases in the Gulf and beyond within reach.
Relations between Iran and the United States have nosedived since President Donald Trump abandoned a landmark nuclear agreement in May and reimposed crippling sanctions in a major blow to its already struggling economy.
“[Our] recent vengeance upon terrorists had a very clear message for enemies, especially superpowers who think they can bully us,” said Jafari.
The KDPI had sent numerous “terrorist teams” into Iran’s West Azerbaijan, Kurdistan and Kermanshah provinces in recent months, according to the IRGC.
The group is Iran’s oldest Kurdish movement and several of its leaders have been assassinated by government actors in the past.
Iran’s armed forces chief of staff said on Tuesday that Kurdish leaders in Iraq had given assurances in the past that they would rein in the KDPI and other anti-Iran militants.
“But since last year, provoked by America, they broke this pledge,” Major General Mohammad Bagheri told Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency.
While Iran has called on Iraq to expel the rebels, Baghdad has called the missile strikes a violation of its sovereignty.
With reporting from AFP