Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) stated one in every of its members was “martyred” throughout intense clashes with Kurdish fighters near the border with Iraq early on May 4. The IRGC claimed to have inflicted heavy losses on the infiltrating militants however didn’t launch casualty figures.
The clashes happened within the mountainous space of Dara Nakhi, near the Kurdish city of Mariwan near the Iraqi border. The IRGC recognized the Kurdish attackers as “armed gangs” and “counter-revolutionary parts,” monikers Iranian authorities routinely apply to Kurdish teams struggling for autonomy. Most of these fighters are primarily based in a rugged mountainous vary stretched on the lengthy Iran-Iraq border.
Over the previous 4 a long time, Iranian Kurdish teams have led their very own trigger for various ranges of autonomy in an armed wrestle towards the Islamic Republic. They lately intensified their hit-and-run skirmishes. On April 22, the IRGC confirmed that two of its members have been killed in related clashes near the identical city of Mariwan. The violence, in accordance with a native commander, “once again disclosed to the local Kurds the malicious nature” of these teams.
Earlier in April, Osman Haj Hosseini, a veteran IRGC commander within the city of Piranshahr, was gunned down in his automotive. A wing of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran claimed duty for the killing, in accordance with Hengaw, which is an opposition information outlet monitoring developments in Iranian Kurdistan.
In previous situations of an upsurge in clashes between the 2 sides, the IRGC has expanded its operations by pounding border villages, the place civilian casualties have been reported.
Since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, an unspecified variety of younger Kurds have joined the ranks of the armed teams. Iranian Kurdistan is one in every of Iran’s most impoverished areas, tormented by alarming unemployment charges which have coupled with the state-led persecution of opponents to push disillusioned locals into mountains for an armed wrestle.
Yet the IRGC’s battle towards dissidents in Iranian Kurdistan has not been confined to the army degree. Imposing a securitized environment within the area, the IRGC’s Intelligence Organization has upped its surveillance of and crackdown on younger Kurds engaged in civilian and nonpolitical actions.
Local campaigners, charities and advocacy teams, and most notably environmentalists have been significantly focused because the IRGC intelligence equipment has grown more and more suspicious and cautious of them, claiming such causes are used as cowl for a wider political agenda.
In the previous two years, the IRGC has carried out varied raids and mass arrests, particularly within the metropolis of Sanandaj, holding nonpolitical campaigners incommunicado for months. One of the environmentalist teams, Chia, has been disorientated amid the arrest of 1 member after one other.
In its crackdown, the IRGC has ignored the authorization granted to the group by the Iranian Department for Environment. In 2014, the identical activists have been formally honored by atmosphere authorities for his or her devoted wrestle towards deforestation and unlawful poaching, and most notably for his or her marketing campaign encouraging the native inhabitants to “smash looking weapons.”