Iran says makes new military push against
Kurd PJAK rebels
September 3, 2011
TEHRAN,ó Iran has begun a new military push
against Kurdish rebels on the border with Iraqi
Kurdistan region, state television IRIB reported
Saturday, days after Turkey said its air strikes had
killed up to 160 militants inside Iraqi Kurdish
Ground troops of Iran's Revolutionary Guards were
carrying out the offensive after what IRIB said was
a one-month grace period during Ramadan offered to
the rebels to withdraw from the country's
northwestern border areas.
It said heavy damage had been inflicted in the push
to clear rebels from the Sardasht heights border
area. Casualty numbers would be released later.
Iran said in mid-August it had killed dozens of
members of the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK),
which Tehran blames for sabotage attacks on gas
pipelines and ambushing its troops.
Iraqi Kurdistan Regionís border areas had been
targets for Iranian shelling from mid-July, under justification of chasing the Kurdish PJAK
that killed and injured several Iraqi Kurdish
citizens and forced hundreds of families to desert
their home villages, along with causing
damage to those villages and farms.
Iranian shelling during a campaign against Kurdish PJAK rebels
shepherd and damaged farms and houses in north
Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region on Saturday,
local officials said.
Human Rights Watch has
Iran may be deliberately targeting civilians in its
campaign against the rebels.
The PJAK, or the (Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistane), is a militant Kurdish nationalist group based in Kurdistan region in
Iraq's north that
has been carrying out attacks Iranian forces in the Kurdistan Province of Iran
(Eastern Kurdistan) and other Kurdish-inhabited areas.
Iran has begun a new military push against Kurdish
PJAK rebels on the border with Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurd residents receive humanitarian aid from
agencies after being displaced from their villages
near Qandil Mountains, a border zone between Iraq
and Iran, July 27, 2011. Iranian shelling in clashes
with Kurdish PAJK rebels on the border with Iraq's
Kurdistan region has killed two civilians and forced
hundreds to flee their homes, local officials and
aid agencies said on Monday. Picture taken July 27,
2011. Photo: Reuters
2004 the PJAK took up arms for self-rule in Kurdistan province northwestern of
Iran (Iranian Kurdistan, Eastern Kurdistan). Half the members of PJAK
are women. The PJAK has about 3,000 armed
Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey all have significant
ethnic Kurdish minorities. Estimate to 12 million
Kurds live in Iran.
Neither Turkey nor Iran have given figures on
civilian casualties caused by their operations
against rebels in Iraq's Kurdish region. Hundreds of
refugees have fled since mid-July to small camps.
Managing the PKK presence is a tricky task for
Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish government with Iran
to the east, Turkey to the north and to the south a
fragile, power-sharing central Iraqi government with
whom the Kurds still disagree about territorial and
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