Posted on October 12, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Kurdistan
Iranian Kurdish PJAK rebels in East (Iranian) Kurdistan. Photo: SM
IRANIAN KURDISTAN,— Iran may have used “chemical weapons” against12 Kurdish guerrilla fighters killed on October 4 in clashes between Iranian security forces and the East Kurdistan Defence Forces (YRK) in western Iran, the group claimed on Tuesday adding that they will seek revenge for the deaths.
“The enemy with the intensive use of its air and ground forces attacked our comrades. There is a suspicion that chemical weapons may have been used. Also, according to the information we have obtained, there is a possibility that our comrades had been poisoned by mercenaries. That is why the Iranian forces were able to easily conduct an assault against our comrades and martyr 12 of our comrades,” reads a statement published on the website of the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK), the political wing of the YRK.
The YRK also published the names and photographs of all 12 fighters, men ranging in age from 19 to 34.
The clash happened near Salasbajani town in Kermanshah, in western Iran.
The leadership council for PJAK said this incident, yet again proved that Iran had breached the terms of the ceasefire between the two sides.
PJAK called for limited “revenge attacks” within the scope of “defence and self-defence,” falling short of renewing an armed campaign against Iran.
The YRK had confirmed the clash last week, saying it would release detailed information at a later date.
The group said the clash occurred as a result of “a conspiracy” between Iranian forces and “affiliated gang groups.”
The PJAK, or the (Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistane), is a militant Kurdish nationalist group based on the border areas between Iraq’s Kurdistan region and Iran’s Kurdistan region, that has been carrying out attacks Iranian forces in the Kurdistan Province of Iran (Eastern Kurdistan) and other Kurdish-inhabited areas.
PJAK, one of the most active Kurdish group in Iranian Kurdistan, is a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Confederation (Koma Civaken Kurdistan or KCK), which is an alliance of Kurdish groups and divisions led by an elected Executive Council.
Since 2004 the PJAK took up arms to establish a semi-autonomous Kurdish regional entities or Kurdish federal states in Iran, similar to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq. The PJAK has more than 3,000 armed militiamen, half the members of PJAK are women.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) reported last week that they had killed 12 militants of a “terrorist” group near the Iraqi border, in the same area mentioned by the YRK.
“The group of 12 militants were all killed and a significant amount of weapons and ammunition were seized from the terrorists,” the Iranian semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Commander of the IRGC Ground Force Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour as saying.
Pakpour added that the clashes began at noon on Tuesday and lasted for hours in the town of Salasbajani in the Kermashan province near the Iraqi Kurdistan border.
Pakpour also revealed that three Iranian soldiers were wounded in the confrontation.
He claimed that “the armed group…had plans to sneak into Iranian territory to cause insecurity.”
The IRGC commander described the group as “affiliated with the anti-revolutionary and terrorist groups that receive support from the US and the Zionist regime of Israel.”
Ever since its emergence in 1979 the Islamic regime imposed discriminatory rules and laws against the Kurds in all social, political and economic fields.
Estimate to 12 million Kurds live in Iranian Kurdistan.