Iranian Kurdish female members of the Freedom Party of Kurdistan (PAK) keep a position in Dibis. File photo: AFP
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QAMISHLI – The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDK-I) warned the Iranian Revolutionary Guards that they will respond to any aggression towards their Peshmerga bases.
Senior Iranian military officials have threatened to target PDKI’s bases and refugee camps in Iraqi Kurdistan, as well as to launch missiles against Israel. PDKI officials have responded to these threats, warning Iran that the Peshmerga Forces will respond to Iranian acts of aggression.
The Iranian Brigadier General Hossein Salami said on Friday that Iran would carry out cross-border operations, if the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq does not ‘adhere to their commitments’ of preventing Iranian Kurdish parties from carrying out cross-border attacks.
“The Iranian regime is very worried about the PDK-I. The regime knows the political position of the PDK-I in East Kurdistan and is sure that the activities will be spread quickly, and will get approval of the population,” Hiwa Bahrami, a representative of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDK-I) in Austria and Germany told ARA News. “So the regime wants to stop the PDK-I activities by threats, but the PDK-I will continue its activities.”
“The PDK-I officials have vowed that our Peshmerga Forces inside eastern [Iranian] Kurdistan will respond forcefully to any acts of aggression against the bases of the party in southern [Iraqi] Kurdistan. Thus far, PDK-I’s Peshmerga Forces have taken a defensive military posture against Iranian aggression,” the PDK-I said in a statement obtain by ARA News.
“This is bound to change in the face of further Iranian aggression. PDK-I will respond to any Iranian acts of aggression. Furthermore, PDK-I has to date relied on the strength of its Peshmerga Forces and the support of the Kurdish people in eastern Kurdistan, but has, in the face of Iranian threats, undertaken efforts to find allies in the Middle East and beyond to counter such threats,” the party said.
The PDK-I accused Iran of attacking their political cadres and officials. “Consequently, the Peshmerga Forces have defended our cadres and officials whenever they have come under attack by Iranian forces,” it said.
Kurdish analysts suggest that it’s unlikely that Iran will carry out cross-border operations in Iraqi Kurdistan.
“Not at this time, as KDP-I has only a limited presence in Iran, and there is a large US-led coalition presence across the Kurdistan Region,” Ceng Sagnic, a researcher with the Tel Aviv-based Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, told ARA News.
“But Iranian officials know that such threats against KRG have larger implications than being only military action. Therefore I regard it more as a political threat at this time, while cross-border shelling on border areas of the Kurdistan Region by Iran may continue,” he added.
Clashes between PDK-I’s Peshmerga Forces and Iran’s IRGC erupted on June 15 and have continued ever since. During the past week, Iran has escalated the conflict into a full-scale war, including the shelling of civilian populated areas in both eastern and southern Kurdistan.
The shelling of the border by Iran has led to the injury of at least five civilians, including three children, and displaced dozens of civilians on the border.
“It [increase in clashes] is mostly because Iranian Kurdish parties are seeking for a renewed foothold in regional politics while Iran’s influence is growing rapidly,” Sagnic said.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg
Source: ARA News