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Iran Guards Hold Wargames Aimed At Kurdish Insurgents In Northwest

A photo showing IRGC wargames in northwest Iran in August, with the declared aim of confronting Kudish insurgents. Undated

The Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' (IRGC) Ground Force disclosed on Wednesday, August 21, that his men held a military drill in Buralan heights, near the city of Maku, West Azarbaijan.

Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour in announcing the wargames underscored that the goal was confronting Anti-Islamic Republic Kurdish armed groups.

Without elaboration on the details of the drill and the date it was conducted, Pakpour described the war games as a "real" one.

The drill, tagged as Ghadir, was aimed at cleansing the region of armed Kurdish groups, the IRGC General asserted, adding, "The wargame was real since there might have been 'terrorists' hiding across the region to ambush our forces."

Footages of the drill show that the IRGC used tank, artillery and rocket fire during the wargames.

The Islamic Republic authorities describe dissident Kurdish minority groups as "terrorists" who seek secession from Iran. In recent years there have been numerous clashes between the IRGC and Kurdish insurgents who have hideouts in Iraq and cross into northwestern Iran.

Meanwhile, the Kurdish groups have repeatedly accused Tehran of violating human rights of their community, insisting that they were only struggling to achieve their fundamental rights.

Maku region where Ghadir wargames was held has recently been the scene of frequent clashes between the IRC forces and armed Kurdish dissidents.

As recently as August 7, the Governor of Maku announced that two members of the IRGC were killed in clashes with armed groups, in border areas of West Azarbaijan province.

Furthermore, several members of the Islamic Republic armed forces have been killed in recent years, during clashes with armed Kurdish groups, including the members of Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK.

Iranian provinces, with a significant number of the Kurdish population, have always been the scene of deadly clashes between the state forces and dissident Kurdish groups since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979, in Iran.