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 commemorates war with parade of tanks, missiles

Updated 54 min 23 sec ago

Iran commemorates war with parade of tanks, missiles

  • Saudi Arabia and the US have accused Iran of a Sept. 14 drone and missile attack on oil facilities

JEDDAH: As Saudi Arabia prepared to celebrate its National Day with entertainment events, firework displays and cultural events, Iran staged a military parade in Tehran on Sunday with tanks, missiles and armored vehicles.

President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian military leaders saluted as ranks of soldiers marched past them in tight unison, followed by an array of military hardware.

Among the weapons on display in the parade, held to mark the anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980, was an upgraded warhead for the Khorramshahr ballistic missile, said to have a range of 2,000km, and the Kaman 12 drone with a range of 1,000km. Speedboats and warships were shown in video footage on state TV.

Saudi Arabia and the US have accused Iran of a Sept. 14 drone and missile attack on oil facilities in the east of the Kingdom. After the attack the Pentagon ordered US troops to reinforce Saudi air and missile defenses.

In a speech at Monday’s parade, Rouhani denounced the US presence. “Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region,” he said.

“If they’re sincere, then they should not make our region the site of an arms race.

“Their presence has always brought pain and misery ... the farther they keep themselves from our region and our nations, the more security there will be.”

The US aims to avoid war with Iran and the additional troops are for “deterrence and defense,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.

“If that deterrence should continue to fail, I am also confident that President Trump would continue to take the actions that are necessary,” he said.