On September 28, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) carried out a new series of missile and drone strikes on positions of Kurdish-Iranian insurgents in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.
The IRGC launched a military operation against Kurdish-Iranian opposition groups in Kurdistan on September 24. Since then, the guards have been shelling the region. However, the new wave of strikes was unprecedented.
The strikes targeted positions of Kurdistan Freedom Party, the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, the Free Life Party of Kurdistan and the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan. According to the Health Ministry in the Kurdistan Region, nine people were killed and 32 others were wounded as a result of the strikes.
The IRGC carried out the strikes with Fath 360 precision-guided, ground-to-ground missiles and Shahed-136 suicide drones.
The Fath 360 missile has a range of 120 kilometers and a warhead weighting 150 kg, while the Shahed-136 drone has a range of 2,500 kilometers and a 50 kg warhead.
In a statement released after the strikes, the Public Relations of the IRGC Ground Force said that the operation in the Kurdistan Region will go on until all the bases of Kurdish-Iranian opposition groups are dismantled.
The IRGC strikes were condemned by the Kurdistan Region Government, which said that “attacks on opposition groups through the Islamic Republic of Iran’s missiles, under any pretext, are an incorrect stance which promotes a misleading interpretation of the course of events.”
Meanwhile, Ahmed al-Sahaf, a spokesperson for the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, said that the Iranian ambassador in Baghdad will be summoned to the ministry “to hand him a strongly worded protest note due to the continuous bombing of areas in the Kurdistan Region.”
The IRGC’s operation against Kurdish-Iranian opposition groups appears to be a response to the Kurdish-led protests in Iran. The protests were triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish Iranian woman who was arrested for allegedly breaking Iran’s strict rules on wearing the hijab, the Islamic head covering for women. Tehran has repeatedly accused foreign powers of supporting the protesters.