Iraqi Kurds demand Baghdad to press Iran for end of attacks

Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region demanded the central government in Baghdad take steps against an incursion into its territory by Iranian forces pursuing Kurdish rebels.

Iraqi Kurds demand Baghdad to press Iran for end of attacks

 

Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region on Tuesday demanded the central government in Baghdad take steps against an incursion into its territory by Iranian forces pursuing Kurdish rebels.

A Reuters witness saw Iranian soldiers manning a small position some two kilometres (1.2 miles) inside Iraqi Kurdistan.

Kurdish officials say a small unit of Iranian soldiers penetrated Kurdistan's Arbil province on June 3 following days of shelling that they say has displaced some 300 families from Kurdish border villages.

Kurdish MPs accused the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad of turning a blind eye to the Iranian operation, against rebels seeking autonomy for Kurdish areas of Iran.

The Kurdish regional assembly unanimously adopted a memorandum calling on the Iraqi government, the United Nations, the United States and other powers "to press Iran to stop its bombardment of Iraqi border villages and to end its occupation of a position inside Iraqi Kurdistan".

MP Zakiya Saleh told Reuters: "We must criticise the Iraqi government for its apathy and indifference and for ignoring the Iranian aggression towards the Kurdish region."

Iranian forces frequently clash with rebels from the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which took up arms in 1984 for an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey.

Iran considers the PJAK a terrorist group.

Like Iraq, Turkey and Syria, Iran has a large Kurdish minority, living mainly in the Islamic Republic's northwest and west.

Reuters

Last Mod: 09 Haziran 2010, 09:43
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