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Iraq moves Iranian-Kurdish fighters from border area

September 13, 2023 at 12:02 pm

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein in Baghdad, Iraq on August 24, 2023 [Murtadha J. A. Al-sudani/Anadolu Agency]

Iraq has started to move Iranian-Kurdish militant groups away from the country’s border with Iran, Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said on Tuesday.

“Iraq is taking the necessary measures to remove these groups from the border areas and they have been settled in distant camps in the centre of Kurdistan,” Hussein told journalists. “This is based on the framework border security agreement concluded with Iran.”

The Iraqi minister said that he will visit Tehran today to deliver the message himself, in the hope that this will prevent any escalation of the situation on the border.

Iran has accused Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region of harbouring armed groups involved in attacks against the Islamic Republic. In turn, this has prompted the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to target the bases of such groups repeatedly.

READ: Iran demands end to Kurdish attacks from Iraq

The Iranian foreign ministry said last month that, under the agreement concluded with Iraq, Baghdad is committed to disarming Iranian Kurdish opposition groups in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, closing their bases and moving them to other locations before 19 September. Iranian officials said that if the goal was not achieved before the deadline, they would resume attacks on dissident groups inside Iraqi Kurdistan, which Tehran was launching regularly until the end of last year.

In September 2022, the Revolutionary Guard Corps fired missiles and drones at targets of armed groups in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, killing 13 people, according to the local authorities.

Hussein said that he will discuss with the Iranians the possibility of refraining from threats to use violence in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.