Iranian Guards' Chopper Downed… Kurds Take Responsibility
The battle rages…
6 to 11 Iranian Guards Members were killed when their helicopter went down near the Iraqi border on Friday.
An Iraqi Kurdish group took responsibility and said they forced another IRGC chopper to make an emergency landing.
A Peshmerga official says clashes broke out at the border.
Bazteb News said 11 Iranian Guards members were killed in the “crash”.
Six members of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) were killed and five were injured when their helicopter went down during an operation in the Piranshahr region near the Iraqi border.
Mehr News reported this on the story:
“An armed forces’ helicopter with 11 on board hit the mountains because of a storm while on a border maneuver near Piranshahr,” AFP quoted Iranian radio as saying.
According to the MNA two of the injured are in critical condition. The incident happened on Friday at 17:30 local time.
Funeral procession was held in Piranshahr for six military personnel, IRNA reported. They were citizens of Piranshahr in West Azarbaijan province.
Iran’s northwestern West Azerbaijan province, which borders Turkey and Iraq, is the scene of regular clashes between Iranian security forces and Pejak and other militant Kurdish separatists linked to Turkey’s outlawed PKK.
But, an Iraqi Kurdish faction has a different story…
Voices of Iraq reported that the the downed Iranian helicopter was shot down by a Kurdish group near the border between Iran and Iraq:
Arbil, Aug 18, (VOI)- An Iranian Kurdish faction affiliated to the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) on Saturday claimed responsibility for shutting down an Iranian helicopter in an area near the Iraqi-Iranian borders, while an Iranian military source said that the chopper went down due to bad weather.
A source from the Free Life party, a Kurdish Workers’ Party wing based in the border areas between Iraq and Iran, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) “our elements shut down an Iranian copter in Haj Omran area, causing all those onboard to die.”
The source, who asked not to be named, said “another Iranian helicopter made a forced landing inside the Iranian territories after it was hit during the same clashes.”
On Saturday, the official Iranian news agency (IRNA) said five elements from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards were killed and six others wounded when a military helicopter crashed near Qandil mount near the borders with Iraq.
“The crash was due to bad weather circumstances in the area,” IRNA quoted a military source as saying.
The Iranian news agency said “the copter was transporting soldiers in a surveillance mission in the area, when the accident occurred.”
Meanwhile, a source from Iraq’s Kurdistan Government said clashes broke out between the PKK fighters and the Iranian forces on the borderline between Iraq and Iran without giving further details about the clashes.
The spokesman for the Peshmerga Ministry in Iraq’s Kurdistan government told VOI be telephone “clashes were going on between elements from the PKK and the Iranian forces but we do not have information as to the casualties on both sides.”
The Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) is active in the areas near the borders with Turkey and Iran. The party has an Iranian Kurdish wing dubbed “The Free Life”.
UPDATE: Iran is massing troops at the Iraqi border and shelling areas inside Iraq!