Friday, August 24, 2007
(RFE/RL) - Responding to reports that the Iranian military is shelling Iraqi Kurdish villages, Jabbar Yawir, the undersecretary of the autonomous Kurdistan region's Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, said, "I cannot believe that the Islamic Republic of Iran would lead its forces to commit such a mistake, since shelling the territories of another state is a violation of international conventions," the Peyamner news agency reported on August 22.
Referring to media reports that Iranian helicopters dropped leaflets warning Iraqi Kurds to abandon their villages ahead of a planned bombing campaign against Kurdish separatists, Yawir said: "If these leaflets were really distributed by an official Iranian Army source, then Iran is accusing itself of bombarding the territories of the [Iraqi] Kurdistan region".
Al-Sharqiyah television reported on August 22 that the political bureaus of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party held an emergency meeting in Baghdad to discuss the shelling, among other issues. They called on the Iraqi government to send a letter of protest to Iran, the news channel reported.
Spokesman Jamal Abdallah said the Kurdistan regional government has sent a letter of protest to Iran, "Awene" reported on August 22. Meanwhile, "Kurdistan Nuwe" quoted a source as saying that tanks, armored vehicles, and long-range artillery have been deployed along the Iranian border. The source contended that Turkish soldiers were also seen in the area, prompting fears of a joint Turkish-Iranian operation.