The shelling that took place in the Iraqi Kurdistan’s Haji Omaran region had Iranian Kurdish rebel groups Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDPI) and Komala as targets. The shelling started early in the morning and lasted for several hours.
Two rebels and a civilian were injured and the shelling has destroyed the livelihood of many farmers. The reason for the attack is because Iran does not want Iranian Kurdish rebels in the Iraq border region.
Ten million Kurds live in Iran, mostly in the north western region near Iraqi and Turkish Kurdish communities across the border.
Komala and KDPI are armed groups that have been in conflict with the government of Iran for decades and they want more autonomy for ethnic Kurd areas. The armed groups are in areas the whole way across the 60km border with Iraq.
The Iranian government has difficulty in controlling the area because of the mountainous terrain, but it has on a number of occasions bombed the Iraqi border side.
Tehran has not made comment about Monday’s attack but officials in Iraq say that it was a retaliation following the injury of an Iranian commander and two Iranian border guards as a result of a clash on Saturday.
The secretary general of KDPI, Mustafa Mauludi, has said that the KDPI was not involved in the attack. He did however mention that Iran has been making the tensions between the two worse since a 2015 ceasefire was broken by Iran. The ceasefire had been in place for 2 decades. He said that Iran has been attacking the group in the hope that they would abandon the struggle.
Tensions in the Kurdish province of Iran have been escalating and Iranian border guards and Kurdish armed groups have been clashing.
An official of the Iranian regime said last week that Kurdish rebels have been expelled from the region and that any “suspicious move” near the border will warrant a “strong response”.
A Kurdish rebel leader, however, said that his group has a lot of support from the Iranian Kurds at the other side of the border and there will be conflict in the province until the issue has been resolved.
He also said that his group has been in contact with Kurdish parties in Iran and it looks likely that there will be cooperation between the two.