Iran’s Revolutionary Guards strike Kurdish groups in Iraq amid Mahsa Amini protests
Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards on Monday unleashed a wave of drone strikes and artillery, targeting what Tehran says are bases of Iranian Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq, a semiofficial news agency reported.
It was the second such cross-border assault since the weekend, at a time when Iran is convulsing with protests over the death of a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman who was been detained by the nation’s morality police.
The village of Galala near Choman is being bombed. According to @Hengaw_English these are Iranian bombings in southern Kurdistan. Instilling fear into people’s lives. #EndIranRegime #JinaAmini #MahsaAmini pic.twitter.com/hOi7c5a7xG— Haks ☀️ (@iAmHaks) September 26, 2022
On Saturday, the Guards said they targeted bases and training camps of Kurdish separatist groups in northern Iraq, claiming it inflicted serious damage.
Protests over the death of Mahsa Amini have spread across at least 46 cities, towns and villages. Iranian state TV has suggested that at least 41 protesters and police have been killed since the protests began on 17 September. An Associated Press count of official statements by authorities tallied at least 13 dead, with more than 1,200 demonstrators arrested.
In Monday's report, the semiofficial Tasnim news agency said the Guards' attacks were in response for the support that the separatists have allegedly provided for the unrest inside Iran, as well as their attempts to smuggle in weapons.
Last year, the Guards similarly attacked what it called bases of “terrorist groups" in northern Iraq.
There was no immediate comment from the Iraqi government. The two neighbouring countries have close political and military ties, and Tehran had provided extensive military support for Baghdad, during its yearslong war against the extremist Islamic State group.
Germany's Foreign Ministry said Monday it summoned Iran’s ambassador following the protests and especially regarding the brutal actions of police there.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called for new sanctions against Iran following the violent crackdown.
“We will now have to talk very quickly in the EU about further consequences, which for me also includes sanctions against those responsible,” she told German news agency dpa in Berlin.
“The attempt to now suppress peaceful protests with even more deadly force must not go unanswered,” she added.