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 Elite Iranian force commander is killed in clashes with Kurdish PJAK rebels

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Elite Iranian force commander is killed in clashes with Kurdish PJAK rebels  23.7.2011  







Six Iran troops killed in clashes with Kurd rebels

July 23, 2011


SARDASHT, Iranian Kurdistan
, ó A senior officer of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards was among six soldiers killed in clashes with Iranian Kurdish rebels on the border with Iraqi Kurdistan, Fars news agency reported on Friday.

"General Assemi of the Qom branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps was killed along with five of his comrades in clashes with terrorist rebels of the PJAK (Party of Free Life of Kurdistan) in the Sardasht area," the agency said, without giving any further details.

It said a car blew up in northwestern Iran, but did not say when the attack took place.

Iranian troops launched a major offensive on Saturday against PJAK rebels operating out of rear-bases in neighbouring Kurdistan region of Iraq.
      

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards march through Tehran during the annual military parade in September 2010. A senior officer of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards was among six soldiers killed in clashes with Kurdish rebels on the border with Iraq, Fars news agency has said. Photo: AFP

On Tuesday, the autonomous Kurdistan regional government KRG in Iraqi Kurdistan demanded Iran respect the border after a Guards commander said Iranian forces had taken "full control" of three PJAK camps inside Iraq.

In Tehran, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards ground forces Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour demanded Baghdad and the Kurdish regional authorities prevent the rebels from attacking Iran from Iraqi territory.

The fighting had already left at least two Guards -- a colonel and a captain -- killed and three wounded, according to security officials in Tehran. PJAK has said two of its fighters were killed and four wounded.

Iranian forces have repeatedly shelled border districts of Iraq's Kurdish region, targeting PJAK bases.
Iran has recently deployed 5,000 military forces in the northwest of the country along its common border with the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

The PJAK, or the (Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistane), is a militant Kurdish nationalist group based in Kurdistan region in Iraq's north that has been carrying out attacks Iranian forces in the Kurdistan Province of Iran (Eastern Kurdistan) and other Kurdish-inhabited areas.

PJAK 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 for self-rule in Kurdistan province northwestern of Iran (Iranian Kurdistan, Eastern Kurdistan). Half the members of PJAK are women. The PJAK has about 3,000 armed militiamen.

Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey all have significant ethnic Kurdish minorities. Estimate to 12 million Kurds live in Iran.     

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