IRGC Brig. Gen. Abbas Asemi and five other officers were killed in a car explosion in the Iranian Kurdish city of Sardasht, near the Iraqi border. The city is the staging area for IRGC’s recent major offensive against PJAK militants.
"General Asemi of the Qom branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was killed along with five of his comrades in clashes with terrorist rebels of the PJAK in the Sardasht area," an IRGC statement said [Fars News Agency, 22 July].
General Asemi was believed to have been the most senior IRGC commander in the central city of Qom. It was not immediately clear why he was involved in clashes with PJAK in Kurdistan.
IRGC later confirmed that the casualties were the result of a car explosion.
"In recent clashes with PJAK in northwestern Iran, a car belonging to the Revolutionary Guards blew up and some members of the Guards, including Commander Asemi, were killed," the statement said [Fars News Agency, 22 July].
On Monday, IRGC announced that it had taken full control of PJAK military camps inside Iraqi Kurdistan. PJAK later denied the report and said it was involved in fierce clashes with IRGC in the border region.