By Mehran Shamsuddin

Before firing missile, Iraq had been warned

November 21, 2022 - 22:10

TEHRAN – Iran has started a fresh round of shelling the Iranian Kurdish separatist groups based in Iraqi Kurdistan after asking the Iraqi central government and the local one in the autonomous Kurdistan region about disarming and expelling the groups.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Ground Force announced in a short statement Monday that it resumed pummeling the bases of the separatist groups in Iraqi Kurdistan with missiles and drones.

The statement said the targeted bases were used for training and organizing terrorist separatist groups in the northern region of Iraq. It also said the groups are the mercenaries of Global Arrogance, a reference to the Western great powers.

According to the statement, several bases in various regions have been hit, and “heavy havoc” was wreaked.

The shelling comes after Iran demanded that Iraq’s central government and the local government of Iraqi Kurdistan disarm and expel Iranian Kurdish separatist groups. But Iran’s demand appears to have been met with neglect from the Iraqi authorities.

The commander of the IRGC Quds Force, General Ismail Qaani, had reportedly traveled to Iraq in recent days to convey Iran’s dismay at the presence of the separatist groups. In addition, Iranian Ambassador to Iraq Mohammad Kazem Al Sadeq said in an interview with Al Alam news television that Iran has several times called on Iraq’s central and local officials to disarm the Iranian Kurdish separatist groups but no action was taken by the Iraqi side.

Al Sadeq said that Iran has provided more than 70 documents to Iraq on the presence of armed terrorist groups in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. He noted that Iran has asked the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan authorities to disarm armed terrorist groups within a period not exceeding 10 days.

The Iranian ambassador to Iraq said that the commander of the Quds Force visited Iraq and met the Iraqi leaders, indicating that Iran had agreed with the central government and the authorities of the Kurdistan region to deploy Iraqi forces on the borders of Kurdistan, but it was not implemented.

Earlier, Western media outlets claimed that Iran has warned that it could begin a ground attack against the bases housing the separatist groups. But the Iranian ambassador to Iraq repudiated the allegation, saying that such an attack on the positions of armed groups in the Kurdistan region of Iraq is out of the question.

The Kurdistan region of Iraq has long been a prime area of concern for Iran due to the presence of Iranian Kurdish separatist groups and the presence of foreign spy agencies in the region. At least one Israeli attack was carried out against Iran from Iraqi Kurdistan. “Our vital installations in Kermanshah were targeted by the Israeli Mossad from Iraqi Kurdistan,” the Iranian ambassador said.

One such attack took place in Mahidasht, Kermanshah, earlier this year. Little is known about the Mahidasht strike but Iranian media said that it was carried out by Israel from northern Iraq.

Facing an array of threats emanating from Iraqi Kurdistan, Iran engaged in intensive diplomacy with Iraq to eliminate threats posed by Iraqi Kurdistan. But, as Al Sadeq indicated, the Iranian efforts did not yield results.

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