MESOP : PKK SEIZES POWER – ON THE WAY TO AUTOCRACY / PKK-KDPI clash on Iranian Kurdistan border leaves two dead

ERBIL-Hewler, RUDAW/MESOP, 24 May 2015 – After two weeks of tense stand-off a clash erupted between armed wings of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) affiliated with Iraqi Kurdistan President and (KDP) leader Massoud Barzani on the Iran-Iraq border, with at least two KDPI fighters reported killed. “Early this morning, the PKK attacked our Peshmerga and unfortunately what we were afraid of, just happened,” a source told Rudaw on Sunday on condition of anonymity.

According to the source, the clash occurred in the mountainous border area, including the villages of Kelashin, Khenela, and Saqar which are located between the Kurdistan region of Iraq and the ethnically Kurdish area of Iran known by Kurds as Iranian Kurdistan. PKK fighters started surrounding a number of KDPI positions since Thursday, and had demanded the group leave the area. The KDPI, a party outlawed in Iran, has previously said it would not withdraw from the border region. The dispute is believed to have started when a KDPI force deployed to the border on May 10 with the intention of establishing a base in areas where the PKK was already entrenched.