On May 11, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shelled positions held by “terrorist groups” in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.
The IRGC artillery strikes targeted Barbzin heights as well as the outskirts of the towns of Barbzin and Choman in the province of Erbil, according to Kurdish news sources. The sources also reported drone strikes on the outskirts of the town of Galala.
In a statement on its website, the IRGC said that its ground forces dismantled an Erbil-based “terrorist team” inside Iran a day earlier and five members of the team were arrested in Baneh near Iran’s western border with Iraq.
The IRGC said that the confessions of the “terrorist team” revealed plans to engage in “sabotage” operations in Iran. Based on this, the ground forces moved to target the “terrorists” bases in northern Iraq.
The target of the IRGC artillery and drone strikes were likely Kurdish Iranian opposition groups, who launched cross-border attacks against Iranian government forces in the past.
In mid-March, the IRGC launched a dozen ballistic missiles at Erbil city, the capital of the Kurdistan Region. The guards said that the target was an Israeli intelligence center. The missile strike was reportedly a response to a drone attack on an IRGC air base that was launched from the Kurdistan Region.
Iran has demonstrated time after time that it will not tolerate any threat from the Kurdistan Region. Despite this, the government of the autonomous region keeps its door open for Tehran’s foes.