Erbil, London – Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) announced Saturday that heavy clashes occurred between its forces andthe Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in several areas of Mirwan and Mahabad cities, northern Iran. KDPI said that several IRGC members were killed.
Official Kaveh Bahrami of KDPI told Asharq Al-Awsat that members of IRGC ambushed fighters of KDPI in Solavei of Mariwan which led to heavy clashes that lasted two hours and killed one Kurdish fighter.
This is the second time that KDPI engage in battle with IRGC during the last ten days.
Kurdistan Media website of the Kurdish Democratic Party reported that Revolutionary Guard opened fired on sites in Mahbad mountains.
Bahrami added that areas like Bengovin, Bengowen, and Bagrdan witnessed heavy clashes that lasted for hours during which an unidentified number of Revolutionary Guards members were killed.
According to Bahrami, clashed erupted when members of KDPI were in Mahabad city conducting series of meetings and contact with locals. During that time, IRGC fighters heavily targeted the area. He confirmed that KDPI fighters were able to escape the area without any casualties.
Witnesses told Asharq Al-Awsat that IRGC had many casualties during the battles in the past two days and that a number of ambulances transported the dead to hospitals.
Bahrami also said that IRGC had transformed Kurdistan – Iran into military areas and intensified its military presence. He added that Iranian forces threatened the residents and asked them to leave the area before the forces began shelling.
Member of Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) Bahram Dikrani confirmed the clashes in Mahbad and other villages of Solavei area. He told Asharq Al-Awsat that IRGC’s movements intensified during the past two days from Mahbad to Mirwan, Sina and Saqez.
He explained that PJAK Defense Forces are fighting back Iranian Forces and have not initiated attacks on them.
KPI is one of the first opposition political parties in Iran and was founded by the president of the first Kurdish republic in Mahabad, QaziMuhammed, in 1945.
Mustafa Hijri, official at KPI, asked Kurdish Armed Forces that had left battle to reconsider its political positions and return to the Kurdish National Movement before it’s too late.
Meanwhile, Secretary General of Kurdish Democratic Party Khaled Azizi said that no cease-fire has been declared.
KDP official website reported Azizi saying that Iran has been imposing a war on Kurds for years now. He confirmed that Kurds are defending themselves and didn’t initiate combat in the last clashes.
It is worth mentioning that the IRGC lost many of its members during the last years in its fight against PJAK.
The return of KDPI and fighting against IRGC will exert a new pressure on the Iranian Forces at the western borders.
The IRGC public relations department confirmed the clashes but did not give any information on casualties.
On Saturday,Iranian Fars News Agency reported an IRGC member in Mahabad saying: “A number of terrorists of the Democratic Grouplet [KDPI] who were in Bengovin village near Mahabad city to conduct terrorist activities were identified by IRGC forces and they were, hence, engaged in clashes.”