Kurdish exile group says Iran hits its bases in north Iraq




  • In World
  • 2022-11-21 04:28:06Z
  • By Associated Press

ERBIL, Iraq (AP) - Iranian missiles and drones struck an Iranian Kurdish opposition group's bases in northern Iraq late Sunday night.

The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, a Kurdish Iranian group exiled in Iraq, said in a statement that Iranian surface-to-surface missiles and drones hit its bases and adjacent refugee camps in Koya and Jejnikan. The group also asserted that the strikes had hit a hospital in Koya.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The website of Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard Monday confirmed a "new round" of missile and drone attacks on "separatist and terrorist" groups in north of Iraq.

Some Kurdish groups have been engaged in a low-intensity conflict with Tehran since the 1979 Iranian Islamic Revolution, with many members seeking political exile in neighboring Iraq where they have established bases.

Iran alleges that these groups are inciting anti-government protests in Iran and smuggling weapons into the country, which Kurdish groups have denied.

Tehran has periodically launched airstrikes against the Kurdish groups' bases in Iraq. During a visit to Baghdad last week, Iran's Quds Force commander Esmail Ghaani threatened Iraq with a ground military operation in the country's north if the Iraqi army does not fortify the countries' shared border against Kurdish opposition groups, Iraqi and Kurdish officials said.

The U.S. condemned the latest Iranian strikes. Gen. Michael "Erik" Kurilla, who heads U.S. Central Command, said in a statement: "Such indiscriminate and illegal attacks place civilians at risk, violate Iraqi sovereignty, and jeopardize the hard-fought security and stability of Iraq and the Middle East."

Sunday's Iranian strikes in northern Iraq come a day after Turkey launched deadly airstrikes over northern regions of Syria and Iraq, targeting Kurdish groups that Ankara holds responsible for last week's bomb attack in Istanbul.

___

Associated Press writers Jon Gambrell in Al Khor, Qatar and Nasser Karimi in Tehran contributed to this report

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