Iranian Kurds clash with PKK: report
DİYARBAKIR – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoKurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) militants clashed with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Iraqi-Iranian border town of Kelashin on May 24, as the KDPI attempted to set a PKK foothold as their base.
Two KDPI militants were reportedly killed in the exchange of fire between the KDPI and PKK militants, after the KDPI, the Iranian offshoot of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of Masoud Barzani in northern Iraq, attempted to gain power in an area called Kelashin.
The dispute was believed to have started when a KDPI force was deployed to the border on May 10 with the intention of establishing a base in the area, Rudaw reported on May 24.
“Early this morning, the PKK attacked our Peshmerga and unfortunately what we were afraid of, just happened,” said Mohammad Saleh Qadri, the KDPI’s spokesperson.
The PKK has yet to comment on the matter.
The clash occurred in the mountainous border area, including the villages of Kelashin, Khenela, and Saqar, which are located near the border of Iran and Iraq.
Kelashin, where yesterday’s clashes took place, is a mountainous area in Iraq’s Kurdistan region that borders Iran to the east and Turkey to the west.
Kurdish militants have often used the strategic region as a midpoint for their guerrilla warfare due to its location, where air strikes are difficult.
With more than 5,000 militants spread across the area, the PKK is in virtual control of the no-man’s land located between Iran, Iraq and Turkey.