The political leadership in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq must make a strong show of support for the Kurds rising against the Islamist government in neighbouring Iran, Zeynep Murat, co-chair of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), told Mezopotamya news agency.
Murat, who heads the multi-national KNK platform aiming to support Kurdish independence, said Iran’s government was living in fear of the protests which kicked off after Iranian morality police killed 22-year-old Jîna (Mahsa) Amini.
In particular, she said, the Kurdish slogan of “jin, jîyan, azadî” (woman, life, freedom) that protesters have united under has raised the ayatollahs alarms and spurred them to drastic action.
“The Iranian state, which could no longer control and manage the resistance, attacked districts in Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and the parties representing eastern Kurdistan,” Murat said.
The KNK co-chair was referring to shelling attacks launched by Iranian security forces against Kurdish opposition groups in areas of Iraqi Kurdistan near the Iranian border.
The days-long shelling attacks came amid months of Turkish aerial and ground operations against Kurdish militants in the KRI.
“These attacks of the Iranian state, which are the same as the attacks of the Turkish state, show that there is an alliance or cooperation between the two occupying parties,” said Zeynep Murat.
“These attacks are also against the Kurdish people. They aim to annihilate the Kurdish people and destroy their gains,” she said.
As well as direct attacks from state security forces, the Iranian-supported Iraqi Hashd al-Shabi militia has carried out drone attacks on Erbil airport and other targets, and Turkey’s intelligence agency is suspected of conducting a string of assassinations of Kurdish political activists in the KRI.
But amid the sustained attacks on Kurdish groups within the KRI, the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has remained markedly quiet on the issue. Murat criticised this silence and demanded that the KDP hold the responsible parties accountable and step in to support the uprising in Iran’s mainly Kurdish region, known as Rojhilat.
“The Kurdish people, political forces, institutions and Kurdish authorities must see this reality and fulfil their duties and responsibilities,” Murat said. “It is the responsibility of every Kurdish person to protect and support Rojhilat’s resistance.”
The KNK co-chair also opposed the KDP’s obstruction of an investigation into Turkey’s alleged use of chemical weapons during its military operations in northern Iraq.