WASHINGTON — While the world was watching Iran in the Persian Gulf on Wednesday and Thursday, Tehran was attacking Kurdish opposition targets along and across its border with Iraq.
The attacks came in response to earlier clashes between Iranian Kurdish nationalists and members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Crops, in which two IRGC members were reportedly killed.
The missile, drone and artillery attacks struck several locations in the Iraqi Kurdistan region that Tehran has charged is home to terrorists who cross over to hit Iranian border regions. The primary targets were outposts of armed Iranian Kurdish (Rojhilati) opposition groups, according to news reports.
“Iran’s army has been bombing Komala and Kurdish villages in the Kurdistan region of Iraq with artillery and from the air,” Salah Bayaziddi, the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan’s representative to the United States, told TMN. “Those attacks, threatening Iraq’s territorial integrity, have killed at least one Kurdish civilian in Erbil province and injured several other innocent civilians.”
The Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan is an opposition movement to the Iranian regime in Tehran.
“These attacks are yet another example of the regime in Tehran using force across the Middle East, as it does directly and indirectly in Lebanon, Syria and Yemen, to challenge peace and security in the region,” he said.
The Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq (KRG), a strong ally of Washington, called on Iran to cease the cross-border campaigns, as well as telling opposition groups not to use Iraqi territory for cross-border campaigns.
Kurdish television showed video of the attack.
The KRG has no connection to the Iranian Kurdish groups and technically frowns on their using Iraqi Kurdistan territory to shelter and plot operations.
While the plight of Iranian Kurds is low on the State Department focus, the aggressive Iranian action across the border into Iraq will most likely add to the tension between the U.S. and Iran, analysts said Friday.