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.


Anti-Daesh coalition raids kill 43 in east Syria: monitor

Updated 17 November 2018
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Anti-Daesh coalition raids kill 43 in east Syria: monitor

  • Seventeen children were among 36 Daesh family members killed in Abu Husn village of Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border
  • Another seven victims had not yet been identified as either civilians or Daesh fighters

BEIRUT: Air strikes by the US-led coalition Saturday killed 43 people, mostly civilians, in a Daesh holdout in eastern Syria, a Britain-based monitor said.
Seventeen children were among 36 Daesh family members killed in Abu Husn village of Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Another seven victims had not yet been identified as either civilians or Daesh fighters, it said.
The US-led coalition has been backing a Kurdish-Arab alliance called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting to expel the extremists from the pocket around Abu Husn.
"It's the highest death toll in coalition air strikes since the SDF launched its attack against the IS pocket" in September, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.
The coalition has repeatedly said it does its utmost to prevent civilian casualties.
"The avoidance of civilian casualties is our highest priority when conducting strikes against legitimate military targets with precision munitions," spokesman Sean Ryan told AFP this week.
Daesh overran large swathes of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a "caliphate" in land it controlled.
But the militant group has since lost most of it to various offensives in both countries.
In Syria, the group has seen its presence reduced to parts of the vast Badia desert and the pocket in Deir Ezzor.
The coalition has since 2014 acknowledged direct responsibility for over 1,100 civilian deaths in Syria and Iraq, but rights groups put the number killed much higher.