Skip to main content

Iran launches new strikes on Iraq's Kurdistan region, killing one fighter

Revolutionary Guards said it was targeting 'separatist anti-Iranian terrorist groups', as US condemns 'illegal' attack
Iranian Kurdish Peshmerga take part in routine military exercise in Koya, 100 kms east of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq on 22 October 2017 (AFP/File photo)
Iranian Kurdish Peshmerga take part in routine military exercise in Koya, 100 kms east of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq on 22 October 2017 (AFP/File photo)

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched missile and drone strikes targeting Kurdish opposition groups in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, killing at least one combatant on Monday. 

The IRGC said in a statement that it had targeted “separatist anti-Iranian terrorist groups” since the morning with a series of “missile and drone attacks by the ground force of the Revolutionary Guards”. 

"A member of the peshmerga was killed in an Iranian strike on the area of Koysinjaq," Ali Boudaghi, an official from the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDK-I), told AFP.

The party added in a statement that Koysinjaq, also known as Koya, and Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region, were targeted with missiles and suicide drones. 

"These indiscriminate attacks are occurring at a time when the terrorist regime of Iran is unable to stop the ongoing demonstrations in [Iranian] Kurdistan," the PDK-I said. 

The US Central Command condemned the “illegal” attacks on Monday. 

"Such indiscriminate and illegal attacks place civilians at risk, violate Iraqi sovereignty, and jeopardise the hard-fought security and stability of Iraq and the Middle East," General Michael Kurilla, commander of Centcom, said in a statement.

Crackdown on protests

The IRGC launched similar strikes on Iraqi Kurdistan last week, killing two Kurdish fighters in Koya.

Iranian forces attacked the headquarters of the PDK-I near Koya and launched a drone attack on the headquarters of the Komala Toilers Party of Kurdistan in Zargwez, near Sulaymaniyah, local officials told MEE. 

Monday’s attacks come a day after Iranian authorities stepped up its deadly crackdown on anti-government protests in Kurdish regions of Iran, deploying troops and killing at least four demonstrators. 

Nationwide protests, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in September in the custody of morality police, have been at their most intense in the areas where the majority of Iran's 10 million Kurds live.

The Norway-based human rights group Hengaw said military helicopters carried members of the Revolutionary Guards to quell the protests in the Sunni-dominated Kurdish city of Mahabad.

The uprising has turned into a popular revolt by furious Iranians from all layers of society, posing one of the boldest challenges to the clerical leaders since the 1979 Islamic revolution that swept them to power.

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.