(Photo credit: Getty Images)
The Iraqi parliament convened on Saturday, 8 October, to discuss Iran’s ongoing bombing campaign of its Kurdish territory in the northeastern part of the country, as well as the lasting political crisis in Iraq.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched several artillery strikes on the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq on 24 September, to reportedly prevent attacks from Iranian-Kurdish armed groups.
In a statement, IRGC officials say the attacks are aimed to “provide security, punish the perpetrators, and push the Kurdistan region’s authorities to assume responsibilities for their legal duties.”
The IRGC said it used “Fateh-360 missiles and suicide drones” in its operations against the Kurdish militants, resulting in the PAK suffering several casualties as a result of the artillery shelling on its base near Kirkuk.
The ongoing bombing campaign has killed at least 18 people and wounded dozens more.
Saturday’s parliamentary session was held in light of a recent attack on Friday, which left one dead and four injured when a vehicle belonging to a colonel of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) counter-terrorism service exploded in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.
The meeting was heavily protected by Iraqi security forces, following months of violent protests amidst the ongoing political crisis in Iraq.
On 29 September, Baghdad summoned the Iranian ambassador to protest the attacks saying “those acts resulted in the intimidation of its citizens,” calling on Tehran to respect Iraq’s sovereignty and abide by international law.
Despite the protest by Baghdad and a meeting between the President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR), Nechirvan Barzani, and Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi about the issue, Iran has refused to stop the strikes.
The parties discussed the recent incursions of Iranian drones and the targeting of militant groups in Iraq’s Kurdistan border region with Iran, stressing the importance of Iraqi sovereignty and preventing terrorist groups from launching attacks on Iraq’s neighbors.