Turkish air strikes on Kurdistan Region restarted

Shkoi Kurdistan-

A Turkish airstrike targeting Erbil’s eastern border with Iran on Monday resulted in no reported casualties, according to a local mayor.

The suspected Turkish drone struck Bradost mountain range in Erbil’s Sidakan subdistrict on Monday, targeting Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) activity in the region.

“There was a guerrilla base on the mountain and today a group of guerrillas strolled through  the area, grabbing the attention of the Turkish drone and leading it to strike the area,” Ihsan Chalabi, mayor of Sidakan, told Rudaw.“The strike was close to a Peshmerga base, but there were no casualties,” he added.

The PKK is an armed group fighting for greater rights for Kurds in Turkey, with several bases in the Kurdistan Region. Turkey frequently carries out cross-border ground and air offensives against alleged locations of the PKK, which Ankara considers to be a terrorist organization.

In April, Turkey launched the twin operations ‘Claw-Lightning’ and ‘Claw-Thunderbolt’ against the PKK in northern Duhok.

Graphic: Maps4News; Sarkawt Mohammed/Rudaw
Iran also targets Kurdish opposition groups within the Kurdistan Region’s borders. For decades, Kurdish opposition parties have struggled to secure the rights of Kurds in Iran. 

From the mid-1990s until 2015, parties based in the Kurdistan Region have generally stayed away from clashing with Iranian security forces.

Since early 2015, however, these groups have deployed units to mountainous areas close to the Iranian border. From there, they have sent units into Iran and clashed with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and other security forces.

Last month, Iran attacked the border areas of Choman, Sidakan, and Haji Omran on several occasions, targeting alleged Kurdish opposition group bases.

There have been over 400 military incursions into the Kurdistan Region so far this year, endangering innocent civilians, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) coordinator for international advocacy Dindar Zebari said in a statement on September 22, without naming any nation or group. 

Civilian populations and the environment have been severely damaged by the Turkey-PKK conflict. Several people have been killed, thousands of acres of land have been scorched, and people’s houses and livestock have been hit.

The KRG has repeatedly called on both Iran and Turkey to respect its sovereignty, and for the Kurdish groups to stop using Kurdistan Region territory to launch attacks on its neighbors.

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