By Rudaw 27 minutes ago – 27 June 2016 – Heavy shelling by Iranian forces injured five in the Kurdistan Region’s Erbil province on Sunday.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—The Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) has said that there is a rumour in Iran that Qasm Slemani, Commander of Iran’s Quds Force, is going to Mariwan to lead the Revolutionary Guards Corp offensive against the KDPI Peshmerga in the Kurdish region of northern Iran.
The Quds Force is a special forces unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). It is responsible for Iranian military operations outside of Iranian territory and has been accused of committing acts of terror. The United States designated it a supporter of terrorism in 2007, accusing it of providing material support for the Taliban and other terrorist organizations.
The IRGC and the KDPI Peshmerga have clashed multiple times over the past weeks in the Kurdish areas of northern Iran.
On Sunday, Iran shelled inside the Kurdistan Region, hitting areas a few kilometres from the border in Erbil province, on the pretext of the presence of forces and bases belonging to the KDPI. Five civilians were wounded, many fled their homes and some ten hectares of land was burned by the mortars.
Clashes continued in Mariwan, across the border from Sulaimani province, on Monday for the fourth consecutive day.
The KDPI, which is based mainly in the Kurdistan Region, recently announced it will take its fight closer to the Kurdish areas in Iran after years of non-violent struggle outside Iranian Kurdistan. In May 2015, they deployed their Peshmerga forces, numbering around 2,000, to the border between the Kurdish regions of Iraq and Iran.
Iran has matched the KDPI’s movements and increased its military activity in the border areas of eastern Kurdistan, especially in Shno and Piranshar. Responding on Twitter to the rumour of Qasm Slemani coming to the Mariwan area, the KDPI quoted a Peshmerga commander: “Kurdistan is a graveyard for its enemies.” www.mesop.de