At least seven people were killed and over two dozen injured in Iranian cross-border strikes Wednesday against military bases in Iraqi Kurdistan belonging to the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran, the local health ministry said.
“The forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran attacked the bases and headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran with missiles and drones” in Koysinjaq, east of Erbil, the KDPI, which operates rear bases in Iraqi Kurdistan, announced in a statement.
According to the Kurdish Regional Government’s Health Ministry, seven people were killed and 28 injured in the attack, at least some of them members of an Iranian-Kurdish opposition militia.
Iranian artillery fire has hit border districts of Iraqi Kurdistan on several occasions in recent days.
The fire comes amid tensions generated by the death in Iranian morality police custody of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini earlier this month after she was arrested in Tehran for allegedly breaching the Islamic Republic’s strict rules on hijab headscarves and modest clothing.
Protests have swept Iran, prompting a domestic crackdown that has killed at least 76 people, according to the Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights.
Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency has put the protest toll at “around 60,” inclusive of several members of the Iranian security forces.
Kurdish communities in western Iran share strong connections with Kurdish-inhabited areas of Iraq.
Many cross the border into Iraq to find work, due to a biting economic crisis in Iran driven in large part by US sanctions.