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 Iran deploying troops, tanks to border with Iraq's Kurdistan

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Iran deploying troops, tanks to border with Iraq's Kurdistan  20.7.2013 


 Photo: ISNA
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July 20, 2013

TEHRAN,—Iran is building up military forces along the border of neighboring Kurdistan region of Iraq, the world tribune reported.

Officials said the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has amassed thousands of troops as well as main battle tanks and armored personnel carriers along the border with Kurdistan region of Iraq.

They said IRGC, supported by the Army, appeared to be preparing for an operation against Iraq’s autonomous region of Kurdistan.

“Iran is establishing a permanent military presence so it could attack Kurdistan at will,” an official said.

Officials said IRGC was also constructing bases and other military installations along the Iraqi Kurdistan border. They said the target was the Party of Free Life in Kurdistan, the Iranian wing of the Kurdish Workers Party.

In 2012, PJAK reached a ceasefire with Iran in wake of its military invasion of Kurdistan. Officials said IRGC was assessed as having failed to destroy PJAK headquarters in the Qandil mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan.


Officials said PJAK was bracing for another Iranian offensive. They said PJAK, which could shell deep into Iran, was supported by the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG in defending semi- autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq.

“The Kurds are much stronger than they were a year ago,” the official said.

The PJAK, or (Party of Free Life of Kurdistan), 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.

Led by Haji Ahmadi (Rehman Haci Ehmedi), the PJAK’s objective is to establish a semi-autonomous regional entities or Kurdish federal states in Iran, Turkey and Syria similar to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq.

Since 2004 the PJAK took up arms for self-rule in Kurdistan province northwestern of Iran (Eastern Kurdistan). Half the members of PJAK are women. The PJAK has over 3,000 armed militiamen.

Estimate to 12 million Kurds live in Iran.

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