Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Fighting in Kurdistan

Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the Kurdish faction headed by Jalal Talabani, is reporting today that Iran has resumed heavy shelling of Iraqi Kurd areas near Iranian borders.

Iran contends that the presence in the area of Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), an Iranian Kurdish opposition group, is forcing it to attack the villages in Iraq Kurdistan region. The Kurdish Parliament on Tuesday condemned the shelling and called for an immediate ceasefire.

In what appears to be a coordinated move between Iran and Turkey, the Turkish forces have also attacked the Iraqi Kurdish villages. PJAK is the Iranian branch of PKK, Turkey’s radical Kurdish movement. PKK is designated as a terrorist organization by the US and the Europeans.

PJAK has been involved in a number of military operations against the Islamic Republic. PJAK claims that in the past two years they have killed more than one hundred members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) in separate actions, including general officers of the IRGC.

In November 2006, journalist Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker claimed that PJAK is receiving military training and equipment from the US military and the Israelis who want to weaken the Islamic Republic.

According to reports from Kurdistan, the recent shelling of the Kurdish villages by Iran started last Wednesday and has since intensified. A number of Kurdish villagers, among them women and children, have fled their homes in search of safe heavens.

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