Iran troops twice cross border to fight rebels: Iraq Kurds | world | Hindustan Times
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Iran troops twice cross border to fight rebels: Iraq Kurds

Iranian troops have crossed into Iraq twice in three days amid clashes with Kurdish rebels in the Qandil mountains near the border, a security spokesman said today.

world Updated: Jun 05, 2010 15:15 IST

Iranian troops have crossed into Iraq twice in three days amid clashes with Kurdish rebels in the Qandil mountains near the border, a security spokesman said on Saturday.

The incursions, which both occurred after Iran's ambassador to Baghdad was summoned to the foreign ministry over the issue, came during a series of clashes in recent days with the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK).

"Iranian forces, two days ago (Thursday), entered...Iraqi territory in the Haji Omran area" in Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region, a spokesman for the region's peshmerga former rebel security force said.

"The Iranian soldiers numbered more than 30, and were combined with armoured vehicles and heavy weaponry," Major General Jabbar Yawar said.

Yawar said the Iranian troops penetrated two kilometres (just over a mile) into Iraqi territory, two days after they crossed three kilometres (two miles) over the border in similar clashes with the PJAK.

In recent weeks, Iran has repeatedly shelled suspected PJAK rear-bases in the border area. It has also carried out helicopter assaults across the frontier.

In a statement on May 31, the foreign ministry said it had separately summoned the ambassadors of Iran and Turkey over cross-border attacks by Tehran and Ankara against Kurdish rebel movements.