DUBAI, SULAIMANIYA, Iraq Sept 28 (Reuters) – Iran‘s Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday they fired missiles and drones at militant targets in the Kurdish region of neighbouring northern Iraq, where authorities said 13 people were killed.
The strikes were reported after Iranian authorities accused armed Iranian Kurdish dissidents of involvement in unrest now shaking Iran, especially in the northwest where most of the country’s population of over 10 million Kurds live.
The regime’s attack in Iraqi Kurdistan killing and injuring refugees, women and children is an undeniable crime. I express my condolences to our Kurdish compatriots. The Iranian nation will respond to this crime against humanity by continuing its revolution and reclaiming Iran. https://t.co/OJPG7vV5xE
— Reza Pahlavi (@PahlaviReza) September 28, 2022
Thirteen people were killed and 58 wounded in the attacks near Erbil and Sulaimaniya in Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq’s state news agency said citing its counter-terrorism service in Kurdistan.
Iraqi Kurdish sources said drone strikes targeted at least 10 bases of Iranian Kurds near Sulaimaniya in Iraqi Kurdistan on Wednesday morning, without elaborating about possible casualties.
The U.S. Army Central Command said it downed an Iranian drone on Wednesday while it was on its way to Erbil, adding that the drone posed a threat to U.S. personnel in the region.
“No U.S. forces were wounded or killed as a result of the strikes and there is no damage to U.S. equipment,” it said in a statement.
A senior member of Komala, an exiled Iranian Kurdish opposition party, told Reuters that several of their offices were struck as well.
Tariq Haidari, mayor of the Iraqi Kurdish city of Koye, told Reuters that two people including a pregnant woman were killed and 12 wounded. Some of the wounded were rushed in critical condition to hospital in Erbil, he said.
The Revolutionary Guards, Iran‘s elite military and security force, said after the attacks that they would continue targeting what it called terrorists in the region.
“This operation will continue with our full determination until the threat is effectively repelled, terrorist group bases are dismantled, and the authorities of the Kurdish region assume their obligations and responsibilities,” the Guards said in a statement read on state television.
Iraq’s foreign ministry condemned the attacks.
A video made by Lebanese & Iraqi activists in solidarity with the people of #Iran. Thank you !#IranRevolution2022 #IranProtests2022 #IranProtests #Mahsa_Amini #مهسا_امینی #مهساامینی #MahsaAmini#زن_زندگی_آزادی pic.twitter.com/o7Dzexez6W
— Alireza Nader علیرضا نادر (@AlirezaNader) September 28, 2022
Iraq’s foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement on Wednesday that the ministry would summon the Iranian ambassador to inform him of Iraq’s objection to the attacks on Iraqi territories and that Iraq considers this action as a violation of sovereignty.
Protests erupted in Iran this month over the death of a young Iranian Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, in police custody.
Amini, 22, from the northwestern Kurdish city of Saqez, was arrested on Sept. 13 in the capital Tehran for “unsuitable attire” by the morality police, who enforce the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code.
She died three days later in hospital after falling into a coma, sparking the first big show of opposition on Iran‘s streets since authorities crushed protests against a rise in gasoline prices in 2019. Read full story
(Reporting by Dubai Newsroom, Baghdad Newsroom, Yasmin Hussein, Mahmoud Reda Mourad and Ahmed Tolba; editing by Angus Macswan, Mark Heinrich, Nick Macfie and Jonathan Oatis)