Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Official: Iran Airstrikes Target Kurdish Groups in Iraq 

Official: Iran Airstrikes Target Kurdish Groups in Iraq 

Tuesday, 22 November, 2022 - 17:45
This photo provided by Iraqi Parliament Media Office shows Mohammed Shia al-Sudani speaking during the parliamentary session to vote on the new government in Baghdad, Iraq, Oct.27, 2022. (Iraqi Parliament Media Office via AP)

Iran on Tuesday launched a new round of strikes at Iranian Kurdish dissident groups based in Iraq’s northern, semi-autonomous Kurdish region, a spokesman said. 

Iranian opposition groups were targeted in two locations, in the areas of Perdi and Degala, according to a tweet by the local government's spokesman, Lawk Ghafuri. He told The Associated Press that it was not yet clear whether there were any casualties in the strikes. 

No other details were immediately available. A previous round of Iranian strikes late Sunday night killed a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Iran, or KDPI, one of the Iranian Kurdish dissident groups based in Iraq. 

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said Iraq condemns the strikes. He told reporters in Baghdad on Tuesday that the national security council would meet next week to draft plans on deploying security forces to strengthen border controls. 

“So there will be no justification for the bombing operations,” al-Sudani said. 

Earlier on Tuesday, al-Sudani met with the Iraqi Kurdish region's president, Nechirvan Barzani. They discussed “the security issue in the Iraqi border areas,” according to a statement from Sudani's office. 

The two “emphasized cooperation to protect Iraq’s sovereignty, reject repeated violations, and work to prevent the use of Iraqi territory ... for attacking any neighboring country,” it said. 

Iran has said the strikes are necessary to protect its borders, while Iraqi Kurdish officials condemn the missile and drone attacks as unprovoked aggression on Iraq. 

The strikes and subsequent announcement of strengthening border controls come in the wake of a visit to Baghdad last week by Iran’s Quds Force commander Esmail Ghaani.  

Some Iranian Kurdish groups have been engaged in a low-intensity conflict with Tehran since the 1979 revolution and have sought refuge in neighboring Iraq where they established bases. 

Iran alleges that these groups are inciting anti-government protests in Iran and smuggling weapons into the country, which the Iranian Kurdish groups deny. Iran has not provided evidence to back up the claims. 

Editor Picks