Kurdish armed group conducts military exercise on Iranian borderBy Rudaw 3 hours ago
SIDAKAN, Kurdistan Region – One year on since it resumed armed confrontation against Iran, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) has conducted a military exercise in the border areas of the Kurdistan Region with Iran, promising a full guerrilla war inside Iran.
“We have prepared this training so that we will meet our objectives better than last year,” Kawe Behrami told Rudaw in Sidakan, some 144 km northeast of Erbil, making reference to the new phase of the party’s struggle called Rasan, resurrection in Kurdish. “We have further prepared our Peshmerga fighters.”
“The core of the [training] program is a full guerrilla fight,” Behrami said.
This comes as Iranian Revolutionary Guards, known as Pasdaran, have conducted their military exercise too, in the Kurdish province of Kermanshah, partly to fight off different Kurdish rebel groups.
The PDKI, which is considered Iran’s main armed Kurdish party, said last year that it was giving up a two-decade ceasefire with the Iranian government and returning its guerrilla fighters to Iran, but that it will not initiate hostilities unless attacked. They also rejected a request from the Kurdistan Region “to stop armed attacks in Iran,” following rising tensions between Tehran and Erbil over the presence of Kurdish armed groups in the border areas.
Mustafa Hijri, the PDKI secretary general, said it was time for his party to take a new approach, including returning troops back to Iran from border bases in Iraq.
“After the passing of two decades during which our Peshmerga were absent among the people (in Iran), we are doing this again, that our Peshmerga make a presence among our people,” Hijri told BBC Persian.
“This means, if our Peshmerga make a presence in Iran and the Islamic Republic of Iran does not initiate attacks on them, we would not attack them, either,” he said
With some 2,000 Peshmerga forces based in the remote border areas, mainly in the Kurdistan Region, the PDKI is historically considered the most formidable Kurdish military organization opposing the Islamic Republic in Tehran.
Last year, especially in the summer, there were clashes between armed groups from the PDKI and the Iranian security forces that resulted in dozens of deaths or wounded on both sides. The Iranian government responded by shelling the border areas inside the Kurdistan Region.