At least seven people were killed Wednesday in a series of missile and drone attacks by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards against Iraqi Kurdistan, officials in the semi-autonomous region have confirmed.
Iraqi Kurdistan Health Minister Saman Barzinyi has stressed that at least seven people have been killed by the attacks and specified that there are four dead in Koya and three in Pirde, without their identities being revealed.
According to the information gathered by the Kurdish TV channel Rudaw, the attacks have hit the headquarters of the Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK), the Democratic Party of Kurdistan of Iran (PDKI), the Party for a Free Life for Kurdistan (PJAK) and Komala in the provinces of Suleimani and Erbil.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has said it has attacked “positions of terrorist groups” with “precision missiles” and drones, without commenting on possible deaths, as reported by the Iranian news agency Tasnim. This is the fifth consecutive day of attacks against targets in Iraqi Kurdistan.
For his part, the head of the PAK, Husein Yazdanpana, has confirmed that the formation has suffered “multiple” casualties in a bombing against its base in Sheraua, near Pirde, while the PDKI has denounced an attack against its headquarters in Koya.
Likewise, Mohamed Sali Qaderi, a senior party official, has stressed that in the camp “there are women and children” and added that there are several bases of Kurdish-Iranian groups in the vicinity.
Earlier Wednesday, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry announced that it will summon Iran’s ambassador to the country to protest the “continuous shelling of areas in the Kurdistan Region.”
Speaking to the Iraqi news agency INA, the Ministry’s spokesman, Ahmad al Sahaf, said that the ambassador “will be summoned urgently to receive a note of protest.”
Shortly before, the Ministry has condemned the missile and artillery attacks perpetrated by Iranian forces and warned with activating the “highest level diplomatic response.”
The PDKI claims the creation of a Kurdish entity in Iran, something the Islamic Republic has refused to do. PDKI and Revolutionary Guard fighters clashed in 2015 in northern Iran, leaving several dead and wounded on both sides.
For his part, Komala Secretary Abdullah Muhtedi has condemned the Iranian attacks and stressed that the offense will “unite the parties” and Iranian Kurds “against the Islamic Republic.” “We call on the West and the United States to put an end to Iranian aggression,” he concluded.
Iranian authorities have accused Kurdish opposition groups of whipping up recent protests in the country over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman from the Kurdish minority who died in custody after being detained in Tehran for allegedly wearing the veil incorrectly.
Iran has about seven million Kurds, representing about ten percent of its population. Most live in the Kurdistan region, located in the northwest of the country, along the border with Iraq.