Fighters of the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan inspect damages at their destroyed headquarters in Sulaimaniyah in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, in late September. Iran renewed attacks into Iraq’s Kurdistan region on Monday as it views them as terrorists fueling ongoing anti-regime protests at home. Photo by Gailan Haji/EPA-EFE
Nov. 14 (UPI) — Iran launched a new round of missile and drone attacks targeting opposition groups in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region on Monday, killing at least two people and wounding several others, officials said.
The attack began at about 8: 45 a.m. local time with Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps firing missiles and launching kamikaze drone strikes at the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan in the Erbil Governorate, located in northeastern Iraq close to the Iranian border.
The PDKI said two people were “martyred” and several were injured.
Missiles were also launched at the headquarters of the left-wing Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan, the PDKI said.
“We, and all the people in Kurdistan and Iran, are witnessing the regime’s latest reprehensible actions before its demise,” it said in a statement.
The fresh round of attacks comes weeks after Iran previously targeted the opposition groups in late September, viewing them as terrorists and blaming them for igniting mass anti-regime protests that erupted within its borders following the mid-September death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman.
The IRGC said it launched the attacks in response to the illegal entry of opposition members into Iranian border cities and after Kurdistan and Baghdad officials failed to heed its warnings to expel and disarm the separatist groups, IRGC Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour said, according to Iran’s semiofficial Tasnim News Agency.
Iran first attacked the opposition groups on Sept. 24, about a week after Amini was killed in police custody on Sept. 16. She was arrested days earlier on accusations of violating the country’s draconian hijab laws.
Her death has sparked mass protests at home, which have been confronted by security forces, resulting in the deaths of at least 326 people, including 43 minors, the Oslo-based Iran Human Rights organization reports.
Abroad, there have been solidarity demonstrations. Iran has also launched attacks into Iraq, which lasted days in late September and into October, killing at least 16 people, according to local Kurdistan media Rudaw.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran attempts to continue to stay in power by brutal violence and killings of demonstrators at home and by missile and drone attacks on the headquarters of Kurdistan’s political parities,” the PDKI said in a statement Thursday. “But as we have always proven, we will never give up on our rights and we will continue our struggle against the Islamist regime.
“The Iranian people of all backgrounds and nationalities are also determined to end this corrupt regime.”
The fresh attacks were met with condemnation from democratic countries that have already been denouncing the regime of Iran’s spiritual leader Ali Khamenei over its response to the protests.
“We call on Iran, which has repeatedly and brazenly violated Iraq’s sovereignty, to stop these attacks and refrain from further threats against Iraq’s territorial integrity,” U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
“Iraq should not be used as an arena to settle scores and its territorial integrity must be respected,” the United Nation’s Assistance Mission to Iraq tweeted. “Dialogue between Iraq and Iran over mutual security concerns is the only way forward.”
In response to Thursday’s attack, the PDKI has called on the people of Iran and Kurdistan to stage a general strike on Thursday, the three-month anniversary of the ongoing mass protests.
“The people of Kurdistan are not afraid of missiles and drones and they will not allow their revolution to be derailed by these cowardly attacks,” it said.