Iranian artillery targets Kurdish group in Iraq

The artillery bombardment is a major escalation by Iran and is the first time that Iranian artillery has struck deep inside Iraqi territory since 1996.

Kurdish members of the PDKI patrol a base near Koya (photo credit: Courtesy)
Kurdish members of the PDKI patrol a base near Koya
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Iranian artillery struck a Kurdish camp in northern Iraq, targeting Iranian Kurds and the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), a group that opposes the Iranian regime. According to the Koya department of health in a nearby city at least five Kurds were killed and 30 wounded in the attack.
The artillery bombardment is a major escalation by Iran and is the first time that Iranian artillery has struck deep inside Iraqi territory since 1996. In 1996 Iran also targeted Kurdish groups operating in northern Iraq that had been waging an insurgency against the Iranian regime.
In recent months the PDKI as well as other Kurdish groups, have expanded their activity in western Iran’s Kurdish region, home to more than 6 million Kurds. There have been clashes with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and dozens have been killed and injured on both sides. The Iranian attack comes a day after protesters in the southern Iraqi city of Basra attacked the Iranian consulate and may represent an attempt by the IRGC to shift focus in Iran to the Kurdish issue.
The victims of the attack were taken to hospital in Koya, which is near the PDKI base that was struck. Reports said that drones and artillery were both used in the attack. PDKI sources said that drones had been circling the area. The wounded included men and children who appeared to be civilians. According to Kurdish sources and social media reports both the base of PDKI and a related party called the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDP-I) were targeted. Both groups have been fighting and opposing the IRGC across the border in Iran. A high level member of the KDP-I was reported wounded in the attack.


Tags iran iraq