KDPI suspects deadly attacks is PKK-Iran plot

By RUDAW – 24 May 2015 – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) suspects elite government troops took part in an attack on the group’s positions in the Iran-Iraq border area of Kelashin on Sunday in which two KDPI fighters were killed. Hasan Sharafi, deputy secretary general of the KDPI, said Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, known as the Pasdaran, may have attacked KDPI positions disguised as PKK guerillas.“We strongly suspect there was a coordination between the Pasdaran and the PKK to attack the KDPI,” Sharafi told Rudaw in a live interview Sunday from the group’s headquarters in Koya, Kurdistan region. “We also suspect that the Iranian Pasdaran disguised as PKK guerillas fought our troops,” Sharafi said. Meanwhile, in a strongly worded statement on Sunday the KDPI condemned the attack and called PKK actions “treason against the Kurdish struggle” and “serving the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

“We want to assure you that despite our efforts towards peace, we will never surrender to pressure, threat and oppression,” the statement concluded. The PKK has not yet confirmed the military raid but said it “did not wish for a standoff” between them and the KDPI troops. Demhat Agid, a senior member of the PKK’s military wing KCK, said on Sunday they felt “no animosity towards the KDPI troops” in the strategic border area, but that the KDPI had “bad intentions.”

“KDPI Peshmergas were collecting customs and charging the local people, and the PKK cautioned them not to do that,” Agid told PKK media outlets. Kelashin, where the Sunday’s clashes took place, is a mountainous area in Iraq’s Kurdistan region that borders Iran to the east and Turkey to the west. Kurdish fighters have often used the strategic region as a midpoint for their guerrilla warfare due to its location where air strikes are difficult.

With more than 5,000 guerrillas spread across the area, the PKK is in virtual control of the no-man’s land located between Iran, Iraq and Turkey. Although much of the area lies within the borders of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, the hard terrain make it difficult for Iraq’s Kurdish authorities to patrol. Political factions in the Kurdistan region were quick to denounce the standoff on Sunday and said the two sides should “find a solution to their problems.” “Any such clashes among Kurds is inevitably detrimental for all of us, as the region is going through vital transformations,” PUK official Hama Jan told Rudaw. But the KDPI’s Sharafi said the PKK had “hostile intentions for years” and “did not want to solve the problems peacefully.”“They responded to our peaceful attempts with the barrels of their guns,” Sharafi said.