Peshmerga forces of Kurdistan Democratic Party-Iran. KDP-I file photo
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iran claimed it killed “12 armed bandits” in the predominantly Kurdish province of West Azerbaijan province on Wednesday, shortly after the Kurdistan Democratic Party-Iran said at least two of its Peshmerga fighters were killed in clashes with Iranian soldiers in the same area.
Iran’s intelligence ministry said in a statement that the clash took place in the town of Sardasht, the same location that the KDP-Iran said its two fighters were killed.
“Last night a team of 12 armed bandits who -- with the support and direction of Saudi Arabia and countries outside the region intended to carry out sabotage inside the country – were killed,” said the statement
Iranian authorities and media usually try to avoid references to an ongoing low-intensity war with the country’s Kurdish rebels.
But Iran’s Kurd Press newspaper quoted the mayor of Sardasht as saying that, “Eight fighters from armed groups based in the Kurdistan Region were killed by the security forces as they made their way into Iran from the Iraqi border.”
The KDP-Iran, headed by Khaled Azizi, is based across the Iranian border in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan Region.
Neither the KDP-Iran nor the Iranian media disclosed possible losses in the Iranian ranks.
But the Kurdish Maf News, run by Kurdish university students in Iran, said that in the town of Bokan in West Azerbaijan three members of Iran’s Basij volunteers and Revolutionary Guards were killed in a clash.
The reported clashes come after a senior delegation from the Kurdistan Region, headed by the Kurdistan Regional Government’s interior minister, reached an agreement in Tehran with Iranian authorities to secure the border between both sides.
Iran has recently increased its military activity in the border areas of its eastern borders, especially in Shno, Sardasht and Piranshar.