On Wednesday morning the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched fresh missile and drone attacks on the central camps of Iranian Kurdish groups based in Iraqi Kurdistan region: the most lethal recorded in the past two decades.
Among the targets were the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the Kurdistan Freedom Party, Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, and the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan.
IRGC units based in the northwest of Iran simultaneously launched a drone and artillery assault on the groups’ bases closer to the Iranian border in Halgurd and Balakayati.
The Kurdistan Freedom Party reports that at least five people have been killed in the latest strike – the third of its kind in three days – including several members of its own party.
Soran Nouri, a leading member and and spokesman of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, told IranWire that the party’s camp near the town of Koy Sanjaq had been struck this morning. Two of its fighters were killed, he said, and a number of members’ families and children were injured.
The central camp of the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan was also hit. Despite the scale of the attack, published reports indicated that there were no casualties, but the camp had suffered material losses.
The IRGC has sought to frame the onslaught as an attack on “terrorists” via its tame news outlets Mehr and Fars News Agencies in Iran.
On Tuesday, Fars News Agency claimed: “This new round of IRGC attacks has started in response to the secessionists’ role in promoting mutiny in Iran."
In its latest public statement, the IRGC also asked people in Kurdish zones not to approach the “headquarters and centers of anti-Iranian terrorist groups in the region”.
The central camps of the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan, as well as the Komala Kurdistan's Organization of the Communist Party of Iran and the Komala Kurdistan Toilers’ Party, are respectively located near the villages of Zargoiz, Di-Ali and Zargoizleh near Sulaymaniyah.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran is stationed across two central camps, known as Democrat Castle and Azadi Camp, located close to the Christian-majority village of Harehmoti less than 10km away from the city of Koy Sanjaq.
Other Iranian Kurdish opposition groups have a combination of central camps deep in Iraqi Kurdish territory and scattered military units in the vast, mountainous zones of Halgurd, Balakayati, Barbezin, Saghar, Hasarost, Soran and Alana, and in the cities of Choman, Sidekhan and Soran. All are in territory controlled by the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party.
Halgurd is located in the Qandil Mountains near the Iran-Iraq border. The range leads to the cities of Oshnavieh and Piranshahr in Iran’s West Azerbaijan province.