Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said Friday that it launched strikes against militants in Iraqi Kurdistan in response to attacks against Iranian forces this week.
The IRGC said in a July 12 statement that it carried out missile, drone and artillery strikes on training camps and other sites used by groups – which it did not identify – in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in retaliation for “recent terrorist attacks” in the western and northwestern Iran this week, Tasnim news reported.
— Press TV (@PressTV) July 12, 2019
A video released by the IRGC showed the force using Mohajer-6 drones and air-to-surface missiles.
“As asserted several times, the national security and preserving the Iranian nation’s calm and peace of mind, particularly for the dear and gallant people of the border provinces, is the red line of the country’s Armed Forces, particularly the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Ground Forces,” the IRGC statement said, adding that the Ground Forces had already “warned” the Kurdistan Regional Government to keep militants away from the border area.
The IRGC said it began targeting the sites on Wednesday, and on Thursday said it had prevented a “terrorist team” that was trying to infiltrate Kermanshah province from crossing the border. One IRGC fighter identified as Mohammad Khan Soleimani Nasab was killed, the Guards said.
Iran’s western provinces are the site of frequent clashes between the IRGC and the militant Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK).
Ehsan Shalabi, mayor of Sidekan north of Iraqi Kurdistan’s capital Erbil, told AFP a woman was killed and two other people injured on Thursday when “a rocket hit their agricultural land.”
The strike “was targeting the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan,” he said.
In September, the IRGC carried out a ballistic missile strike against Kurdish rebels in Iraq. The strikes killed 15 members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran and Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, with Iran claiming the KDPI had sent numerous terrorist teams into the west of Iran to carry out attacks.
The KDPI is Iran’s oldest Kurdish movement and several of its leaders have been assassinated by government actors in the past.