Amid protests, Iranian Guard hits Kurdish groups in Iraq

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards unleashed a wave of drone and artillery strikes on Monday, targeting what Tehran says are Iranian Kurdish separatist bases in northern Iraq, a report said. semi-official news agency.

It was the second such cross-border assault since the weekend, at a time when Iran is convulsed by protests over the death of a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman who was detained by national police mores.

On Saturday, the Guard said it targeted bases and training camps of Kurdish separatist groups in northern Iraq, saying it had inflicted serious damage.

Protests over the death of Mahsa Amini have spread to at least 46 towns and villages. Iranian state television has suggested that at least 41 protesters and police have been killed since the protests began on September 17. An Associated Press tally of official statements by authorities put at least 13 dead, with more than 1,200 protesters arrested.

In Monday’s report, the semi-official Tasnim news agency said the Guard attacks were in response to the separatists’ alleged support for the unrest in Iran, as well as their attempts to smuggle weapons.

Last year, the Guard also attacked what it called bases of “terrorist groups” in northern Iraq.

There was no immediate comment from the Iraqi government. The two neighboring countries enjoy close political and military ties, and Tehran has provided significant military support to Baghdad during its years-long war against the extremist group Islamic State.

The German Foreign Ministry said on Monday it had summoned Iran’s ambassador following the protests and in particular over the brutal police actions there.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has called for new sanctions against Iran following the violent crackdown.

“We will now have to talk very quickly in the EU about the future consequences, which for me also include sanctions against those responsible,” she told German news agency dpa in Berlin.

“The attempt now to suppress peaceful protests with even more lethal force must not go unanswered,” she added.

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