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Iran Heavy Artillery Pounds Iraqi Kurdistan Region | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Turkish army tanks manoeuver as Turkish Kurds watch over the Syrian town of Kobani. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Irbil- Heavy Iranian Revolutionary Guard artillery intensely shelled borderline villages belonging to the Iraqi Kurdistan region on Thursday.

Lasting for six hours, the shelling resulted in a grave loss among civilians of which most were forced to escape their homes to safer zones.

“In the early hours, of Thursday, Iran began shelling mountainous areas of Erbil’s Sidekan district,” Karwan Karim Khan, Sidekan’s district governor, told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

Khan said the “intense” artillery bombardment had forced many local residents to flee their homes in search of safety, adding that four villages located in Sidekan district were evacuated amid intense shelling.

The shelling did not result in any deaths, however, yet it inflicted severe losses on residents. Other than a wave of panick and striking fear, forest fires were spread across stretches of farms at the region.

The attack came two days after Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander Mohammad Ali Jafari visited the Kurdistan and Azerbaijan region. During his visit, Jafari inspected the special Revolutionary ground units deployed in the zone, which has been lately rumored of being further refurbished with heavy artillery.

Mohammed Sidekani, a Kurdish shepherd living with his family of six in one of the bordering villages of Sidekan, who had recently displaced by the attacks, says “Iran kills us on a daily basis, destroys our lives, burns our farms, killing our sheep and cattle, while the international community stands idle.”

Sidekani told the story of being forced out of his village and set on the road along with his family. “We fled our village in haste, fearing for our lives. The bombardment was destructive,” he said.

Sidekani further called on the United States and the international community to stand against Iranian terror.

Moreover, The Kurdistan24 reporter stated that a reporter from a local Kurdish media outlet who was covering the incidents on the Kurdistan-Iran borders was injured during the Iranian artillery shelling of Sidakan.