MESOP FLASH : Iran shells Kurdish rebels inside Iraqi Kurdistan

 26 June 2016 – nrttv – Rudaw – HEWLÊR-Erbil, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’,— Iran has begun shelling inside Iraq’s Kurdistan Region on Sunday, under pretext of the presence of the Iranian Kurdish opposition forces and their bases.Iran is intensively shelling Haji Omaran, Berkma and Barbzin areas in Sidakan, a few kilometres within the Iraq’s Kurdistan Region borders in the Soran district of Erbil province.

Five or six bombs were dropped within one minute Sunday morning and the shelling has scared the local population, Rudaw reported.

Iran is also shelling the Haji Omeran border areas. Iranian artillery is shelling Doli Alana, Rash Harman and Kuna Re in Haji Omeran, which is within the Choman district of Erbil province.

Maghdid Arif, the director of Haji Omran district, told NRT two children were wounded as a result of the shelling and had been transferred to a hospital in Choman. Damage to the district is currently unknown.

The director of Sidakan sub-district, Karwan Karim, said Iran began shelling Sidakan early in the day with the justification of targeting what they believe to be Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran KDPI bases in the area.Several people have been displaced due to the bombardments and damage to civilians’ property and agricultural land, Karim said.“Residents of Sidakan want to evacuate their villages and the increased shelling has prevented government institutions from providing assistance,” the witness said.

Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government KRG representative to Tehran, Nazim Dabagh, said they have been informed by Iranian authorities that KDP-I bases are the only target of the shelling and not civilians.The shelling in the Sidakan area has caused a large fire in the area, where farming is the dominant industry. People are leaving the area and moving towards the centre of Sidakan.A witness in the area reported an Iranian military helicopter flying very low along the border. It is believed the aircraft was providing information for forces on the Iranian side of the border firing artillery into Iraqi Kurdistan.Turkey has frequently been shelling this border area for a year and half, targeting Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) bases, but in the past 10 years this specific border area has not been bombarded by Iran.

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said it killed five armed rebels in recent clashes along its border with Iraqi Kurdistan, state media reported on Saturday. It did not give the name of the rebel group, though a number of separatist Kurdish insurgencies are known to be active in the region.