An Iranian Shahed-136 drone is launched during a military exercise in Iran, December 2021. (Photo credit: Twitter)
The Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, warned the US on 1 October against taking any military action on Iranian drones.
“If Americans carry out any action against Iranian drones, the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran will respond to their hostile measure,” he said in light of possible cooperation between US forces and “anti-Iranian terrorist groups” in Iraqi Kurdistan.
US Central Command (CENTCOM) claimed to have shot down an Iranian drone near Erbil on Wednesday after it considered the drone a threat to its forces on the ground.
Iran launched several artillery strikes and drone attacks on targets inside the Kurdish border regions between Iraq and Iran on 24 September, in response to attacks by armed groups and alleged smuggling of weapons into Iran.
According to Tasnim news agency, the IRGC artillery bombed the bases of ‘Komala’ (an Iranian opposition left-wing movement) and ‘Democrat’ (the Iranian Kurdistan Democratic Party) after they “received a large number of weapons in cities near the border to spread chaos and disorder.”
Tensions inside Iran have flared up following the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who collapsed while in police custody in Tehran, dying a few days later.
While the Iran nuclear deal negotiations have stalled in the past weeks, the US and its allies in the gulf region have deployed a drone fleet in the gulf, to carry out “anti-Iran” operations.
“Enemies are trying to compensate for the reduction of force in West Asia by creating new units,” Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri said on 5 September in response to the US drone fleet.
The general vowed that Iran’s response to the newly posed threat would be met in “decisive” action.