Iran launched artillery and drone strikes Saturday targeting Kurdish militants in Iraq’s north, an Iranian Kurdish official told AFP, days after cross-border attacks killed 14 people.
Tehran has accused Kurdish armed groups based in Iraq’s Kurdistan region of stoking a wave of unrest that has rocked the Islamic republic since Mahsa Amini, a Kurd, died in custody last month.
“The Iranian forces launched artillery fire and drone strikes” on bases used by exiled Iranian group Komala in the Mount Halgurd area, near the Iranian border, said Atta Nasser, an official from Komala.
The strikes “destroyed some outposts, without causing casualties among our ranks,” Nasser said.
On Wednesday, a barrage of some 70 missiles and “kamikaze drone” strikes left 14 people dead and 58 wounded, Kurdish officials said. Iraqi Kurdish authorities said most of the casualties were civilians.
In a statement on Thursday, the Guards said they will press on with attacks on rear bases in neighboring Iraq until Kurdish rebels have been disarmed.
“We ask the central government and the government of the northern region of Iraq to show more seriousness in their responsibilities towards Iran as a neighbor,” it said.
Iran has seen a major wave of protests since the death of Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, 22, was announced on September 16 after her arrest by the morality police. A crackdown has left dozens of demonstrators dead.
Several Iranian Kurdish group have been based in northern Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region for decades.
While combat activities have greatly declined over the years, they continue to mobilize on social media, playing a key role in circulating images of the protests in the aftermath of Amini’s death.