Iranian warplanes and at least one suicide drone attacked bases of Kurdish opposition groups located within Iraqi borders in Erbil province on Thursday morning, a top party official said. There are no reports of casualties.
“We have recovered the remains of a drone that was used in the attack on one target and we have photos,” Kawa Bahrami, top Peshmerga commander of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) which was the target of the attack, told Rudaw English.
The attacks started at 6:00 in the morning. Iranian warplanes, drones, and artillery targeted several locations in the Sidakan and Choman areas of Erbil province where several Kurdish opposition groups have small bases.
Top commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) this week ratcheted up their threats and called on civilians in the Kurdistan Region to avoid areas where these groups have their bases.
The attacks come on the third anniversary of another deadly attack by the IRGC in which around a dozen ballistic missiles hit the headquarters of the KDPI and the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDP-I) killing at least 16.
Party officials said there were no casualties in the strikes on Thursday.
“Six Iranian drones attacked the areas where Peshmerga forces are located,” Bahrami said, noting that they can distinguish Iranian drones from Turkish ones, because they fly lower and have a different sound. Turkey also frequently targets alleged positions of armed Kurdish groups in the Kurdistan Region mountains.
Two airplanes targeted Barbzin village and a number of other villages, mayor Mohammed Majeed told Rudaw. “Rockets and cannon ranges” followed the airplanes.
The KDPI said regime warplanes began bombing the Sidakan, Choman, and Haji Omran areas in the early morning. Choman mayor Swara Akram also confirmed the attack to Rudaw, saying no casualties have been reported.
Another field commander near the Galala area also said they were attacked by at least four suicide drones.
Several armed Iranian Kurdish opposition parties, including KDPI, have bases in the Kurdistan Region mountains. On Monday, an IRGC commander threatened to launch an assault on the groups after several recent deadly clashes, and told civilians to stay out of harm’s way.
“Given the condition in the region and the possibility of a severe and decisive response by the Islamic Republic of Iran against the terrorist groups… nested in the northern Iraqi region, we call on the people of these regions to stay away from the bases of these terrorist groups so they do not come to any harm,” said IRGC commander Mohammed Pakpour.
Iranian officials have called on the Iraqi government to take action. Iran expects “appropriate action by the Iraqi government with armed and terrorist groups” in Kurdistan Region territory, Iran’s former ambassador to Iraq, Hassan Danaeifar, said recently.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which has cordial relations with Tehran, has called on armed Iranian Kurdish opposition groups not to launch attacks against neighboring countries from Kurdistan Region territory.
Reacting to Iran’s threats, a top Iraqi general urged diplomacy.
“Iraq is one. We will not allow anyone to threaten its security and safety,” said the spokesperson for the Joint Operations Command, Major General Tahsin al-Khafaji. “We will try to overcome this through the government, the commander-in-chief, and the foreign ministry.”
Source » rudaw