A top Iranian commander on Wednesday claimed that the country’s armed forces had concluded a massive military operation and “cleared” an area close to the Iran-Iraq border of Kurdish opposition fighters.
The campaign began Tuesday and took place in an area between the Iranian province of Kurdistan known as the Chehel-Cheshme mountain range to the eastern border crossing with the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, according to Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Ground Forces Commander Mohammed Pakpour.
Iranian forces imposed a curfew on nearby rural Kurdish settlements and bombarded suspected positions of Kurdish fighters, one opposition group claimed.
The operation concluded “by achieving its stated aim,” Pakpour said in a statement released to Iranian media outlets.
The commander added that Iranian special forces, infantry, Air Force drones, and local IRGC forces participated in Tehran’s so-called “Martyrs of Muslim Kurds” operation against armed groups that have been fighting Iran for Kurdish rights and autonomy. Tehran designates such parties as “terrorist organizations.”
Areas surrounding the rough terrain of Chehel-Cheshme were the site of heavy clashes in early May, including attacks by Iranian Kurdish opposition groups and shelling by IRGC forces in response.
On June 21, the armed wing of the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) claimed responsibility for taking active part in the engagement and killing three IRGC soldiers.
We warn the terrorist elements and their allies that in case of any mischief on the borders, especially in the northwest and southeast of the country, they will be met with an iron fist and a decisive response from the IRGC’s Ground Forces,” Pakpour asserted.
The “southeast” is in reference to Sunni Baluchi militant groups mostly operating in the Baluchistan area of Iran.
Clashes Continue in the ‘Northeast’
As the IRGC was seeking out Kurdish fighters in Kurdistan province, multiple clashes erupted on Tuesday and Wednesday to the northwest of Chehel-Cheshme in West Azerbaijan province.
The first of these occurred near the Kuran village of West Azerbaijan near the Turkish border and reportedly involved Turkish forces as well as suspected members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with which PJAK is affiliated.
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