Iranian bombardment of Koya town in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Until now, Iranian artillery bombardments in Iraqi Kurdistan have been contained to the mountainous region adjacent to the Iranian border line. For years, CPT-Iraqi Kurdistan has been reporting on these bombardments that not only target members of armed opposition groups but also target local farmers, shepherds, homes, fields and animals. CPT accompanies some of the civilian communities that face the threat of these attacks.
On September 8, in an unprecedented move, Iranian military fired multiple rockets towards Koya (Koysinjaq)- a town of about 70,000 that lies about a 100km beyond Iran’s border and only about an hour of drive away from the Iraqi Kurdistan's capital Erbil. The rockets targeted a meeting of two political parties active in the armed struggle for Kurdish rights and self-determination in Iran. The rockets hit a camp near Koya where members of the opposition group live with their families. The attack killed at least 15 people and wounded about 40, including at least one child.
The attack exposes contempt that the Iranian government has for the Kurdish people and the regime's increasing boldness, not so different in essence from that of the Turkish regime's and its recent actions in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Hundreds of civilian rural communities have lived for years under daily threat of Iranian and/or Turkish rockets and bombs. September 8th’s action by the Iranian government showed that in Iraqi Kurdistan no community is safe no matter how near or far from the border it may be.
We need international solidarity to raise voices and hands together against the Iranian and Turkish states' impunity and to ensure the implementation of the right for all Kurdish, Ezidi, Assyrian, Arab and other peoples of Iraqi Kurdistan to life, liberty and security.
* (Photos used in the collage were published by NRT-TV, KNN and on Twitter)