DUBAI: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday they fired missiles and drones at militant targets in the Kurdish region of neighbouring northern Iraq, where an official said nine people were killed.
The strikes were reported after Iranian authorities accused armed Iranian Kurdish dissidents of attacking and infiltrating Iran from the northwest of the country to sow insecurity and riots and spread unrest, especially in the northwest where most of the country’s population of over 10 million Kurds live.
Nine people were killed and 32 wounded in the attacks near Erbil and Sulaimaniya in Iraqi Kurdistan, its health minister, Saman Barazanchi, said in a statement.
“Some of the wounded are in critical condition and death toll could rise,” Barazanchi said in a statement.
Iraqi Kurdish sources said drone strikes targeted at least 10 bases of Iranian Kurds near Sulaimaniya in Iraqi Kurdistan on Wednesday morning.
A senior member of Komala, an exiled Iranian Kurdish opposition party, said that several of their offices were struck as well.
Tariq Haidari, mayor of the Iraqi Kurdish city of Koye, said that two people including a pregnant woman were killed and 12 wounded. Some of the wounded were rushed in critical condition to hospital in Erbil, he said.
The Revolutionary Guards said after the attacks that they would continue targeting “terrorists” in the region.
In Baghdad, Iraq’s federal government called in the Iranian ambassador to protest the deadly strikes, while the UN mission in Iraq deplored the attack, saying “rocket diplomacy is a reckless act with devastating consequences”.
“These attacks need to cease immediately,” the UN mission tweeted.
Three rockets were also fired at Baghdad’s Green Zone on Wednesday, wounding four security force personnel as parliament was in session, a statement by security forces said.
“One rocket fell in front of the Iraqi parliament,” the statement said.