Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is behind an attack on Iranian Kurdish opposition groups in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region that killed at least 11 people and wounded numerous others on Saturday, The Algemeiner reported.
Iranian ballistic missiles targeted the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Iran (KDP-I) and the Democratic Party of the Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), as well as an Iranian Kurdish refugee camp in the Erbil Province’s Koya.
United States Vice President, Mike Pence, on Monday condemned Iran’s rocket attacks against the Kurdistan Region and, in a phone call with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, called the attacks by Iran “an effort to threaten and destabilize its closest neighbour [Iraq].”
The two men also discussed counter-terrorism efforts, “and reaffirmed the strategic partnership between the Kurds and the United States.”
In a September 9 statement, released by the semi-official Fars news agency, the IRGC said it had fired seven missiles in the attack on Rojhilati Kurdish dissidents. “In a successful operation, the Guards’ aerospace unit, along with the army’s drone unit … targeted a criminal group’s meeting and a terrorist training center with seven short-range surface-to-surface missiles.”
The statement added that the attack was prompted by a decision of “group leaders to ignore serious warnings by officials of the Kurdistan Regional Government about Iran’s determination to dismantle their bases.”
Iran’s target were armed opposition groups fighting for greater autonomy for Iran’s Kurdish community, which have been banned from the country for opposing the rule of the mullah regime.
In an op-ed published in the Jerusalem Post on Sunday, Seth J. Frantzman observed that the attack on Kurdish groups in the Erbil Governorate was “a message from Tehran to the region that it can do what it wants, not only in neighboring Iraq, but throughout the Middle East…It shows how the IRGC operates across borders and throughout the region, seeing Iran’s policy in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon as linked into one larger program.”
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the nuclear deal with Iran from which the Trump administration withdrew in May, failed to curb Iran’s ballistic missile program and, according to critics, was one of the major flaws of the agreement.
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