Iran’s Guard strikes Kurdish groups in Iraq
Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard unleashed a wave of drone strikes and artillery on Kurdish areas in northern Iraq, the latest of several attacks in the area as the Islamic Republic of Iran is gripped by protests.
Tehran said that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps used drones and artillery to attack the headquarters of Iranian Kurdish “terrorist groups” based across the border. It was the second such cross-border assault since the weekend. IRGC forces have targeted the same area several times in recent days.
Tehran said that the attack was in response to “recent actions” by a Kurdish group in Iraq. Tehran also accused them of fanning anti-regime protests which have swept across Iran following the death of 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini. Iraqi Kurdish media said that the attack took place in Erbil’s Sidakan area.
The latest clash comes at a time when protests over the death of Mahsa Amini have spread across at least 46 cities, towns and villages of Iran. According to Iranian state TV, at least 41 protesters and police have been killed since the protests began on September 17.
Amini died in police custody after being arrested for allegedly wearing her Hijab loosely. Her death sparked protests across Iran and beyond, including in the Iraqi Kurdish city of Erbil.
Under Iran’s sharia (Islamic) law, imposed after the 1979 revolution, women are obliged to cover their hair completely in public places. The Iranian morality police enforce restrictions on women’s clothing in Iran.
Human rights activists and groups said that there were reports that Amini was beaten on the head with a baton by Iran’s morality police officers for not complying with strict rules of the country and not covering her hair properly. However, police rejected the allegations and said that Amini was not beaten by the morality police.