Middle East

Iraq Kurds demand Iran respect border after clashes

ARBIL, Iraq: Iran must respect its borders with Iraq, authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan said Tuesday, after Tehran’s forces clashed with Iranian Kurdish rebels, leaving several dead.

Iran said it had taken “full control” of three camps belonging to the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, a claim disputed by Baghdad.

“We demand Iran respect the sovereignty of the Kurdistan region as part of the sovereignty of Iraq,” Kurdistan regional government spokesman Qawa Mahmud told AFP.

“There was Iranian infiltration along the Iraqi border. If there is any border problem, the best way to resolve it is through negotiations and peace, not by bombing civilians.”

The fighting, which began Saturday and appears to have ceased, has left at least one member of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards dead and three wounded, according to security officials in Tehran.

PJAK, meanwhile, says two of its fighters were killed and four wounded.

On July 11, Iran’s official news agency IRNA quoted a senior Iranian army official as saying Tehran reserves the right to attack PJAK bases within Iraq.

“The terrorists will not be allowed to take sanctuary in Iraq’s territory and attack Iran with the support of America and the Zionist regime,” the official said. “Action will be taken against these terrorists.”

Iranian forces regularly shell border districts of Iraq’s Kurdish region, targeting PJAK bases.

 

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