The IRGC said in a statement that the military strikes were launched on Thursday morning after a warning from the IRGC Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour about the presence of terrorists in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
The IRGC Ground Force employed combat and suicide drones in the operation, as its smart artillery units with pinpoint accuracy have targeted the positions of the terrorist groups with high precision, the statement said, according to Tasnim News Agency.
During a visit to the IRGC military bases in Iran’s northwestern border areas on Monday, General Pakpour had given a warning to the armed terrorist groups which take advantage of Iraq’s Kurdistan region to upset the security of Iran’s border areas.
“We cannot tolerate the continuation of such conditions and will give the necessary response to the terrorists,” the general warned.
Pointing to the circumstances in that region and the possibility of a “decisive and crushing” response to the terrorist groups that are affiliated with Iran’s enemies and have taken shelter in the northern areas of Iraq, the commander asked local residents in those regions to stay away from the strongholds of the terrorists to be safe from any damage.
Pakpour also bemoaned the fact that Iran’s warnings have gone unheeded although the Iraqi region’s officials have been informed about the hostile activities of the armed terrorist groups on their soil and about the attempts to infiltrate into Iran with the aim of threatening security.
“Terrorist groups affiliated with the global arrogance and the foreign espionage services have been using the lands in northern Iraq for years to upset security and calm in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s border areas and harass the residents of those regions,” he added, noting that the Baghdad government and the officials in the Kurdish region have been given the necessary warnings about such hostile activities.
The Iraqi government and the Kurdish region’s officials should not allow the terrorists to act freely and set up strongholds on those territories for threatening and upsetting Iran’s security, the commander stressed, warning that the failure to address the issue would run counter to the principles of good neighborliness and amicable relations between the two countries.
Iraqi Kurdistan Region has been used for a long time by anti-Iran terror groups such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its offshoot, PJAK, which are active in Iraq and Turkey, to launch occasional attacks against the positions of Iranian border guards and border areas in northwestern parts of the country. The attacks have been invariably faced with crushing responses from Iran's border guards and other military units deployed in those areas.