Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Leaflets said to warn of Iran move into north 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 destabilize the Tehran government. Cross-border shelling is not uncommon, and has been reported for the last few days. On Saturday Iranian state media reported the crash of a helicopter in the area which killed six. Iranian authorities said the crash was the result of bad weather but Kurdish rebels claimed the helicopter had been shot down.

Kurdish authorities in northeastern Iraq said on Tuesday they were investigating the authenticity of leaflets warning villagers to evacuate ahead of an Iranian military offensive against Kurdish rebels...

So far there has been no official comment from either Tehran or Baghdad about the shelling.

The government of Iraq's largely autonomous region of Kurdistan said it was investigating after villagers said they had seen the leaflets thrown from helicopters on Monday.

Residents said there were no identifying marks on the leaflets, written in Kurdish, apart from the words "The Islamic Republic of Iran" across the top and bottom.

The leaflets said villagers had 48 hours to evacuate before an Iranian offensive began.

"They do not carry an official stamp of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards or the Iranian Defence Ministry," said Jamal Abdullah, a spokesman for the Kurdish government.

Read the rest at the Washington Post