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Tuesday, July 19, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Iran captures Kurdish bases in first Iraq offensive since 1980-88 war

NICOSIA — Iran has reported its first offensive in Iraq in more than 20 years.


The mullah regime in Teheran said the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has entered the Kurdistan region of Iraq and captured several bases. IRGC said the bases were under the control of the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PEJAK), said to have been waging an insurgency war in northwestern Iran.

"Three bases in Iraqi territory were providing assistance to the terrorists," Col. Delavar Ranjbarzadeh, an IRGC commander, said.

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IRGC said the incursion into northern Iraq took place on July 17-18 and encountered Kurdish resistance. Ranjbarzadeh said the Kurdish rebels, many of whom were killed, sustained what he termed a "heavy and historic defeat."

This marked the first Iranian offensive in Iraq since the 1980-88 war between Baghdad and Teheran. About a week before the invasion, IRGC warned that it was preparing an offensive against PEJAK.

One of the Kurdish camps captured by IRGC was identified as Marvan. Officials said Marvan was the leading PEJAK camp in the region and contained at least 30 fighters.

The Kurdish rebel movement has confirmed the IRGC offensive but said at least five Iranian soldiers were killed. PEJAK as well as Kurdish Regional Government officials said Iranian forces have reached 10 kilometers into Iraq.

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