The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) claims that their Peshmerga forces killed nine Iranian Revolutionary Guards and injured another eighteen during a firefight last week on the Iran-Iraq border. A statement made by the PDKI’s Peshmerga Central Command declared that the clash occurred in mountains of the Iranian controlled Shno region, a border city that is just west of the autonomous Kurdistan region. Tehran views the PDKI as an extremist group and direct threat to governmental influence due to their constant opposition efforts, they are just one of the various Iranian Kurdish labeled in this manner by the Iranian regime. The statement also declared that the PDKI Peshmerga did not suffer any casualties during the battle.

Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan’s armed elements have no relation to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s military forces despite their shared “Peshmerga” name. The PDKI’s militants have aided official Peshmerga groups in past battles with the Islamic State though, all of which took place within Iraq’s borders and far from Iran. Peshmerga essentially means “Those who face death” so the name has been adopted by several armed wings residing within the region. The Iranian regime has been behind several assassination attempts from within Iraqi-Kurdistan directed at high ranking members of the PDKI. It is also suspected that they have been behind several other deaths centered around the PDKI.

The PDKI was established in 1945 by Kurdistan Republic of Mahabad President Qazi Muhammad, which only lasted for a few years. The organization is a secularly social democratic political group that looks to further Kurdish rights and autonomy within Iranian territory. The organization started up fighting between themselves and Iran in 2016, effectively breaking a ceasefire agreement that had been in place since 1996. The peace agreement was made to aid Kurdish prosperity in northern Iraq being achieved at the time.

Featured image courtesy of the PDKI