Iran has warned the United States against targeting drones taking part in its ongoing operation against Kurdish-Iranian opposition groups in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.
On September 30, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, chief of staff for the Iranian military, warned that Iran would consider any US response to Iranian drones as a “hostile action” and reserved the right to respond.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched the military operation in Kurdistan on September 24 in response to Kurdish-led protests in Iran.
On September 28, the guards carried out a series of strikes with dozens of ballistic missiles and suicide drones on positions of Kurdish-Iranian insurgents in the region. The strikes claimed the lives of 13 people and wounded at least 58 others.
After the strikes, the US Central Command said that it downed an Iranian Mohajer-6 combat drone that was heading towards Erbil. The command claimed that the drone posed a real threat to its troops in the region.
Washington revealed on September 30 that an American citizen was among those killed as a result of the IRGC strikes on Kurdistan.
“We can confirm that a U.S. citizen was killed as a result of a rocket attack in the Iraqi Kurdistan region,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said, declining to provide further details but reiterating US denunciations of the strikes.
The IRGC believes that Kurdish-Iranian opposition groups have been supporting the violent protests in Iran, which broke out in mid-September, from their bases in Kurdistan. Many of these groups, like the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan, enjoy good relations with the US.
Iran is apparently determined to disarm Kurdish-Iranian insurgents in Kurdistan, even if this led to a confrontation with the US.
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