Iran Guards confirm missile strikes on Kurd rebels in Iraq

The IRGC says it was behind missile attack on Iraq-based Kurdish dissidents. (File/AFP)
Updated 09 September 2018
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Iran Guards confirm missile strikes on Kurd rebels in Iraq

  • Iran attacked the base of an Iranian Kurdish armed opposition group in northern Iraq on Saturday
  • Iran’s Revolutionary Guard fired seven missiles in an attack on Iraq-based Iranian Kurdish dissidents that killed at least 11 people

TEHRAN: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confirmed Sunday they had launched deadly missile strikes against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq the previous day.
“The terrorists’ headquarters... was successfully struck by seven surface-to-surface rockets on Saturday by the missile department of the Guards’ aerospace force,” it said on its Sepah News website.
The statement added that their drone division was also involved.
Fifteen people were killed in the rare cross-border attack on the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, which is blacklisted as a “terrorist” group by Tehran, a KDPI spokesman, Soran Louri, told AFP on Sunday.
Around 30 others were injured, according to local medical sources.
Iranian state television showed images of the missiles being launched and drone footage of the impact.
“The punishment of transgressors was planned following the recent months’ wicked acts by terrorists from the Kurdistan realm against the Islamic republic’s borders,” the Guards’ statement said.
It cited incursions by numerous “terrorist teams” into Iran’s West Azarbaijan, Kurdistan and Kermanshah provinces bordering Iraq.
The KDPI had recently clashed with Revolutionary Guards forces in the towns of Marivan and Kamyaran in Iran’s own Kurdistan region, the statement added.
The Kurdish group was holding a meeting at the time of the missile strikes, and the party’s secretary general and his predecessor were injured, according to one of its officials.
The headquarters is in Koysinjaq, around 60 kilometers (35 miles) east of Irbil, capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.
Iraq’s foreign ministry denounced the Iranian missile strike.
“Iraq protects the security of its neighbors and does not allow its territory to be used to threaten these countries,” spokesman Ahmed Mahjoub said in a statement.
“But it categorically rejects the violation of its territorial sovereignty by strikes against certain targets on its territory with previous coordination,” he added.
The KDPI is Iran’s oldest Kurdish movement and has seen several of its leaders assassinated by Tehran in the past.


Key player UAE backs new Yemen peace talks

Updated 6 min 11 sec ago
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Key player UAE backs new Yemen peace talks

  • UAE state minister for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said he had had “very productive discussions” with UN Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths
  • The UN envoy has been shuttling between all sides in the devastating civil war

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates, whose troops are fighting the Houthi militia alongside government forces, said Wednesday it would fully support new peace talks after UN-brokered negotiations broke down earlier this month.
UAE state minister for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said he had had “very productive discussions” with UN Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
“Reaffirmed strong support for UN-led political process after Geneva setback,” Gargash tweeted. “Will fully support UN proposals for new talks soon.”
The UN envoy has been shuttling between all sides in the devastating civil war since March 2015 in a bid to get peace talks back on track.
Planned negotiations in Geneva broke down on September 8 after Houthi delegates refused to show up until they received guarantees that they would be able to fly home afterwards.