TEHRAN: Iran has taken “full control” of three camps of the Iranian Kurdish rebel PJAK movement inside neighbouring Iraq, a commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards told the official IRNA news agency on Monday.
“All the three camps on Iraqi soil that were backing the terrorist group have fallen under our control and we have full control of the area,” said Colonel Delavar Ranjbarzadeh, who commands Revolutionary Guards in the northwestern Iran border town of Sardasht.
He added that operations launched on Saturday inside Iraq were still continuing in other areas but he did not give more details.
Ranjbarzadeh added that a member of the Revolutionary Guards was killed in the fighting and three others wounded and that “many anti-revolutionary and PJAK terrorist members were (also) killed.”
On Sunday IRNA quoted an unnamed source in Sardasht as saying “five PJAK members were killed in the clashes. Among those killed, is the deputy head of Marvan camp,” Ranjbarzadeh said.
He described Marvan as the “main camp for the PJAK terrorist group”, adding that 30 members of the group had been living there for the past four years.
On Sunday a spokesman for the PJAK told AFP in Iraq that Iranian forces had suffered several casualties in the fighting near the Banjaween area of Iraq Kurdistan's Sulaimaniyah province.
“Since midnight (2100 GMT Saturday), heavy battles have been ongoing between PJAK and the Iranian army, resulting in two killed and four wounded,” said PJAK spokesman Sherzad Kamankar.
Last week a senior army official said Tehran “reserves the right” to attack the bases of the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.
“We reserve the right to attack and destroy terrorist bases in border areas” near the autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan; the official was quoted as saying by IRNA on July 11.
“The terrorists will not be allowed to take sanctuary in Iraq's territory and attack Iran with the support of America and the Zionist regime,” the official said. “Action will be taken against these terrorists.”
Iranian forces regularly shell border districts of Iraq's Kurdish region, targeting PJAK bases.