Iran: 20 Killed in Clashes Between IRGC, Kurdish Group
At least 20 people were killed in armed clashes between Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and a Kurdish group opposed to the Iranian regime on the border between Iran, Turkey and the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
Reports varied concerning the reason for the clashes and number of losses between both sides. IRGC’s news agency Fars reported that the clashes were against a group that planned to enter the country through the bordering region of Oshnavieh (in Kurdistan province). Whereas, state-owned agency IRNA cited IRGC’s Hamzeh base saying that the Iranian forces dismantled an armed cell in the southwestern Iranian province of Azerbaijan.
IRGC killed 10 armed men carrying equipment in the Oshnavieh border area as they attempted to enter Iran, according to IRNA.
The corps issued a statement confirming the incident, but did not mention the identity of the armed group, rather described it as “affiliated to the world arrogant powers and the foreign intelligence services” that planned to enter the country to “foment insecurity and conduct acts of sabotage”.
Reports by official Iranian agencies did not mention the number of casualties among the IRGC, but operation assistant at Hamzeh base denied in a statement to Fars the reports saying that none of the troops was injured or killed in the fighting.
Meanwhile, Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) announced on its Twitter account that heavy clashes erupted between Kurdistan’s Peshmerga Forces and Iran’s IRGC outside Shno (Oshnavie) in eastern Kurdistan. “The clash lasted for 5 hours and according to initial reports 12 IRGC terrorists were killed,” it added.
The Party did not comment on official Iranian reports about the killing of its members.
Hamzeh base is responsible for securing Iran's border with Turkey and the Kurdistan region of Iraq, extending 200 kilometers from the western province of Azerbaijan, Kurdistan and Kermanshah to northern areas of the western province of Ilam.
PDKI was founded in October 1945 by Kurdish leader Qadi Mohammad in the city of Mahabad, raising the slogan "Autonomy of Kurdistan of Iran" and the right to self-determination.
Iran targeted party leaders twice after the 1979 revolution: the first in June 1989, when gunmen attacked Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou and several Kurdish politicians in Vienna. Few years later, on Sept. 17, 1992, gunmen posing as negotiators killed Sadegh Sharafkandi, the party's secretary-general, and a number of party leaders at a restaurant in Berlin.