Turkey not only focus of Kurdish guerilla fighting

Click here: Sydney Morning Herald – Turkey not only focus of Kurdish guerilla fighting

Iran accuses US of backing militants on its border, writes Richard Oppel in Baghdad. DEADLY raids into Turkey by Kurdish militants holed up in northern Iraq are the focus of urgent diplomacy, with Turkey threatening to invade Iraq and the United States begging for restraint while expressing solidarity with Turkish anger.

But out of the public eye, a chillingly similar battle has been under way on the Iraqi border with Iran. Kurdish guerillas ambush and kill Iranian forces and retreat to their hideouts in Iraq. The Americans offer Iran little sympathy. Tehran even says Washington helps the Iranian attacks, a charge the US denies. Whatever the truth the conflict, like the Turkish one, has explosive potential.

…The militants from the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan, or PJAK, who have been waging an insurgency in Iran are an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, known as the PKK, the Kurdish guerillas who fight Turkey…Iranian officials have accused the US of supplying the militants and using them in a proxy war, although the US military denies this. “The consensus is that US forces are not working with or advising the PJAK,” said Commander Scott Rye, a US military spokesman in Baghdad.

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