Hooshyar Zibari

Iraq has called on the Islamic Republic to stop shelling in the Iraqi Kurdistan border region. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hooshyar Zibari has pressed his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi, to end the artillery attacks.

Abdolvahed Gavani, governor of the Chooman region in Iraqi Kurdistan, told Radio Zamaneh: “Up until today, Thursday, Islamic Republic artillery attacks have continued and nearly 12 shells have hit villages in this region and caused great material losses for the people who live there.”

He added that a parliamentary delegation from Iraq has arrived in the region to visit the area and report back to the Iraqi Parliament.

The shelling reportedly started three weeks ago. Conflicts between Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps forces and PJAK, the Kurdish dissident group, have caused dozens of deaths and injuries.

The IRGC has reported dismantling PJAK bases in the region, describing its actions as vital for “creating lasting security and cleansing the border regions of the northwest.”

Iran has said that the Kurdistan Regional Government has PJAK forces with a large area for their use. The KRG has denied the allegations and demanded that Iran end its attacks.

A letter published by 400 Iranian political and social activists also demands an end to artillery attacks on Iraqi Kurdistan, because “they have caused the death of numerous Kurdish guerrillas, Iranian soldiers and local residents.”

The Kurdistan Human Rights Organization has also called on both sides of the conflict to replace military attacks with dialogue.