Iraq denounces Iranian missile strike on Kurds

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A wounded member of the Iranian Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDPI) steps out of a vehicle in their headquarters after a rocket attack in Koysinjaq, 100 kilometers east of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of eastern Iraq, on September 8, 2018. (AFP / SAFIN HAMED)
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Iranian Kurdish Peshmerga members of the Iranian Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDPI) check the damage after a rocket attack inside their headquarters in Koysinjaq, 100 kilometers east of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of eastern Iraq, on September8, 2018. (AFP / SAFIN HAMED)
Updated 10 September 2018
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Iraq denounces Iranian missile strike on Kurds

  • Iran’s Revolutionary Guards admitted firing seven missiles targeting a dissident Iranian Kurdish group in northern Iraq
  • Among those injured were two officials of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran
JEDDAH/DUBAI: Baghdad on Sunday denounced Iranian missile strikes that have killed at least 15 people in the northern Iraq.
“Iraq protects the security of its neighbors and does not allow its territory to be used to threaten these countries,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Mahjoub said after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards admitted firing seven missiles targeting a dissident Iranian Kurdish group.
About 30 others were injured when the short-range surface-to-surface missiles struck a meeting on Saturday of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) at their headquarters in Koy Sanjaq, about 60km east of Irbil, capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.
The group’s secretary-general, Mustafa Hijri, and his predecessor, Abdullah Hasanzadeh, were among those injured.
“Iraq categorically rejects the violation of its territorial sovereignty by strikes against targets on its territory,” Mahjoub said.
The KDPI is Iran’s oldest Kurdish movement. Tehran designates it a terrorist group and has assassinated several of its leaders. The group had recently clashed with Iranian Revolutionary Guards forces in the towns of Marivan and Kamyaran in Iran’s Kurdistan region.
Armed Iranian Kurdish groups operate in remote and mountainous Iran-Iraq border regions. Despite clashes with Iranian forces, there is little security coordination between Iran and Iraq.
The missile attack was followed on Sunday by a renewed bout of military saber-rattling from Tehran, as the regime faces mounting pressure from the collapse of the 2015 deal to curb its nuclear program and the renewal of punishing US economic sanctions.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a rallying cry to Iran’s armed forces. “Increase your power as much as you can, because your power scares off the enemy and forces it to retreat,” Khamenei said at a graduation ceremony for military cadets in the Caspian port city of Nowshahr.
“Iran and the Iranian nation have resisted America and proven that, if a nation is not afraid of threats by bullies and relies on its own capabilities, it can force the superpowers to retreat and defeat them.”
Brig. Gen. Majid Bokaei, head of Iran’s main defense university, boasted that Tehran had “reached a stage where we can export the technology to produce solid rocket fuel.” Solid-fuel rockets can be fired at short notice.


Iran seizes British tanker in Strait of Hormuz for breaking ‘maritime rules’

Updated 8 min 38 sec ago
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Iran seizes British tanker in Strait of Hormuz for breaking ‘maritime rules’

  • UK government convened an emergency COBRA meeting to formulate its response
  • The Stena company responsible for the ship also released a statement

TEHRAN: Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps announced on Friday they had confiscated a British tanker in the strategic Strait of Hormuz for breaking "international maritime rules."

The Stena Impero tanker "was confiscated by the Revolutionary Guards at the request of Hormozgan Ports and Maritime Organisation when passing through the strait of Hormuz, for failing to respect international maritime rules," the Guards' official website Sepahnews announced.

The UK government convened an emergency COBRA meeting to formulate its response and a foreign ministry spokesperson said: "We are urgently seeking further information and assessing the situation following reports of an incident in the Gulf."

The Stena company responsible for the ship also released a statement, which read: "Stena Bulk and Northern Marine Management can confirm that at approximately 1600 BST on 19th July, UK registered vessel Stena Impero (built 2018, 49,683 DWT) was approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters. We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran.


"There are 23 seafarers aboard. There have been no reported injuries and their safety is of primary concern to both owners and managers. The priority of both vessel owner Stena Bulk and ship manager Northern Marine Management is the safety and welfare of the crew.

"Northern Marine Management has not been able to establish contact directly with the vessel since it was notified of the incident at approximately 1600 Today, 19th July 2019. We are in close contact with UK government authorities."