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Monday, September 5, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Iran punctuates end of Ramdan with new attack on Kurds, inside Iraq

NICOSIA — Iran has reported another military incursion into Iraq.


Officials said Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps sent thousands of troops to northern Iraq in a campaign against Kurdish rebels. They said the invasion took place soon after the August conclusion of the Muslim fast month of Ramadan.

"There was a grace period to see if the terrorists would stop their operations," an official said.

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On Sept. 3, Iranian state television announced an IRGC invasion of Iraq's Kandil mountains, deemed the stronghold of the Kurdish Workers Party and its affiliate Party of Free Life of Kurdistan. IRIB television said the operation was meant to expel Kurdish fighters from the Iranian-Iraqi border, Middle East Newsline reported.

"In continuation the series of operations, IRGC killed and wounded 30 of the members of the PJAK terrorist group," IRGC operations officer Col. Hamid Ahmadi said.

PJAK has acknowledged the IRGC operation. Kurdish rebels claimed heavy casualties among the invading Iranian troops and said Teheran was coordinating with Turkey, which has also been attacking the Kandil mountains.

Officials said PJAK, accused by Iran of being trained by British and U.S. intelligence, has been attacking natural gas pipelines. They said the latest IRGC operation would last several weeks and move deep into Kandil.

"This operation is aimed at clearing the infected northwestern border area and started from the Sardasht Heights," IRGC said. "Heavy blows have been inflicted. The operation will continue until the border areas are completely cleared and lasting security has been established."

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