Friday, July 13, 2007

Iran shells Kurd fighters in Iraq

Above: A PJAK camp near the Iraq-Iran border. Associated with the PKK, PJAK is the equivalent movement for Kurdish Iran. Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh revealed recently in the New Yorker magazine that American forces were supporting the PJAK movement as part of their strategy to destabilise the Tehran government.

Iranian Military, Kurdish Rebels Clash Along Iran-Iraq Border

Iraqi Kurdish officials say the Iranian military has shelled an area inside northern Iraq during fighting between Iranian forces and Kurdish rebels.

Spokesman for Iraqi Kurdistan security forces Jabbar Yawer confirmed Thursday's artillery attack in the Peshdar region.

In recent months, Iran's Revolutionary Guard forces have clashed with Kurdish insurgents in northwestern Iran. The rebels are believed to be linked to Turkey's separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is the target of a large-scale operation in southeast Turkey.

The government of Iraq's Kurdish region has come under pressure from Turkey and the United States to deal with Turkish Kurd guerillas who launch attacks into Turkey from bases in northern Iraq.

The PKK has been fighting for autonomy in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast since 1984. The violence has killed more than 30,000 people.

The U.S., Turkey and the European Union classify the PKK as a terrorist group.

From VOA

Iranian forces, Kurdish guerrillas clash on Iraq-Iran border: Kurdish official

It was the third day of shelling in two areas along the border in northern Iraq, said Jabbar Yawer, spokesman for the Kurdistan protection forces, or Peshmerga. Residents of the areas said the bombardment had not caused casualties but had killed farm animals and started a fire on a mountain.

Iranian shelling in the Peshdar region, 100 kilometers (60 miles) northwest of Sulaimaniyah, hit areas as far as 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the border, said the regional governor Hussein Ahmed. He said many of the areas 1,000 families had fled for protection.

The other region hit by shelling lay further north, near the Hajji Umran border crossing, 110 kilometers (66 miles) north of the city of Irbil, Yawer said. He said the shelling began with an incursion by Kurdish guerrillas into Iran on Tuesday that sparked clashes with Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

"We are not with either side, and we will not allow the lands of Iraqi Kurdistan to become a battlefield in which civlians in Kurdish villages are the victims," he said.

Read the rest at the International Herald Tribune

Related Link:
Analysis: Kurdish movement could spread war regionally