Is this the prelude to an Iranian land operation?

Violent clashes in Kandil

Clashes between Kurdish guerrillas and Iranian soldiers reported
The Iranian Army attacked the village of Zere in Kandil from three different positions yesterday evening.
While it was reported that Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) members halted Iran’s incursion, the clashes have continued well into the night.
Indeed early this morning sources said clashes are still going on.
In yesterday’s fighting 21 soldiers and 6 village guards have died, said Kurdish guerrilla sources.
Iranian army units have been in position on the border of Iran and the Federal Kurdistan Region of Iraq since July 16. During the first two weeks of deployment, violent clashes between the Iranian army and PJAK members occurred around Kandil. Three hundred Iranian soldiers, including 3 officers, were killed during this period. Also, four civilians, including one child, were killed by the Iranian military’s artillery bombardment. As a result of these assaults, 35 villages have been destroyed and hundreds of villagers were forced to leave their homes.
There are speculation that a land incursion by the Iranian army could be launched as early as Sunday or Monday.
The details of the Iranian operation which will include the areas of Kandil, Xinere and Xaxurke are becoming clearer while attitudes are becoming rigid after the visit to Iran by the delegation led by Barzani. While Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Interior Minister Karim Sinjari, new head of Iraqi intelligence, has made a secret visit to Turkey, the KDP has blocked the roads to Kandil as of yesterday. It has also been asserted that the United States gave green light to Turkey for two months for the operation.
The Iranian operation in Kandil area which was launched on July 16 was followed by the air assaults by the Turkish state in Southern Kurdistan. At the beginning of the operations, the KDP was quite concerned and worried about the Iran’s military mobilization and it silently expressed often that the attacks targeted themselves directly.
However, developments began to take a different course with the Iran visit by KDP Assistant Secretary General Necirwan Barzani, KDP Politburo member Fazil Mirani and Interior Minister Karim Sinjari. During the visit to Tehran, the KDP delegation held talks with Iran’s national public security chief and the Iranian president. Soon after this meeting, Necirwan Barzani held the PKK and PJAK responsible for the attacks and asked the PJAK to lay down arms.
On the other hand, Interior Minister Karim Sinjari made a secret visit to Turkey on the way back from Iran. It is stated that Sinjari’s reason for this visit was to notify Ankara about the agreement reached between Iran and southern forces on a possible land operation.
Following the press statement made by Necirwan Barzani on the way back from Iran, the public security forces in the region allied to the KDP have displayed a more rigid attitude towards the protest demonstrations staged against the operations by Turkey and Iran. To prevent the progress of demonstrations, the KDP has instructed all civil institutions and persons close to itself to not to join the protest.
Southern forces have been informed about the operation since the beginning. When considering the statement made by Neçirwan Barzani, it is seen that the South Kurdistan parliament in fact gathered and made a decision for this agenda. The Parliament prepared the ground for the operation saying that ‘the PKK and PJAK are the only reason of the attacks’. Similarly, the recent statement of Barzani expresses that the PKK and PJAK are the main matter, adding that they don’t have any problems with neighbors.
According to the information we received, during Necirwan Barzani’s last visit to Iran, Iranian forces were allowed to get into seven kilometers towards the Xinere-Xakurke line and five kilometers towards the Kandil line. Meanwhile, public security forces under the KDP have warned
the people in some villages, which will be included within the Iranian operation area, to leave their villages in Xakurke and Xinere regions until the operations end.
The reports we have received and the mobilization in the region point out to an inevitable operation which will be carried out by the Iranian and Turkish states in common. Southern forces will meanwhile seal off their borders to block the inflow of logistic support, ammunition and similar needs. One other indefinite information reports that Iran will not directly take part in the operation but seal off its borders and block the moving of the guerrilla forces by carrying out intense artillery attacks on the guerrilla areas.
The KDP has meanwhile closed all the ways to Kandil and Xinere regions and halted the comings and goings in the region.
Meanwhile, Hesen Ahmet Mustafa, known for his familiarity with Neçirwan Barzani, has said on a radio-broadcast two days ago that the U.S. has given a two-months time to Turkey for the operation against the PKK and PJAK. Mustafa expressed that southern forces and the Iraqi state may be involved in the operation if the PKK and PJAK continue their acts at South Kurdistan borders against these countries.
Following the statement by Neçirwan Barzani, Zagros Tv has started broadcasting programs that give the message that ‘the operation of Iran and Turkey is carried out due to the PKK and PJAK and no problems would be lived with the neighboring countries but for these forces’.
All these developments are the footsteps of the coming land operation which will directly be involved by Southern forces.


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