Iran bombs Kurdish opposition parties in Iraq, killing at least 11

by The Region    


Iranian forces bombed Iranian Kurdish opposition party headquarters and nearby refugee camps in Koya, Iraq last night, killing at least 11 people and injuring 40. 

Several ballistic missiles targeted the offices of the Kurdistan Democratic Party - Iran (KDP-I) and the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), as well as refugee camps near the offices that house thousands of civilians. The PDKI said that drones were also seen operating in the area at the time. Koya is located slightly east of Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government, less than 50 miles from the border with Iran. 

Among the casualties were several members of both political parties, as well as civilians from the camps, including children. The KDP-I issued a statement saying that the attack targeted a meeting of the party's leadership at their headquarters. Arash Saleh, the representative of the PDKI to the United States, wrote on Twitter that "mostly civilians are the victims. We call upon foreign countries to condemn this heinous crime of Iranian regime."

The Kurdistan Regional Government expressed "concern" about the attack, but called on "all sides not to turn the Kurdistan into a region of rivalries," rather than condemning the act of Iranian aggression alone. 

Iran has targeted armed Kurdish opposition groups operating in Iraq in cross-border strikes before. The latest attack represented an escalation in both the severity of the strike and the distance from Iranian territory. 

The same evening, the family of Ramin Hossein Panahi, an Iranian Kurdish political prisoner who had been on death row for several months after being charged with being a member of armed opposition group Komala, announced that he had been executed.