DECEMBER 9, 2022
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Iraqi Kurdish Government Disarms Iranian Separatist Groups Along Border, According to Report

Iraqi Kurdish Government Disarms Iranian Separatist Groups Along Border, According to Report

In recent developments, Baghdad has initiated the process of dismantling and relocating Kurdish militant groups along Iraq's border with Iran, according to sources reported by The New Arab on September 14th. This action comes as the deadline, previously agreed upon between Iraq and Iran, approaches its end.

The measures are reportedly being carried out with the cooperation of Kurdish authorities in the region. An anonymous Kurdish source revealed that the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has recently disarmed the Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK), which is based near Erbil, of its middle and heavy weaponry. These disarmed elements are expected to be relocated to a new camp near Makhmour, a district in Iraq's northern Erbil province under the control of Baghdad but disputed by both the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Furthermore, the source stated, "The security agreement with Iran has been put into practice by both the ruling parties in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah as the Kurdistan region has been under financial pressure from the federal government. The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDPI) has [dismantled] its headquarters in the Balakayati area of Erbil after KRG officials informed them of their relocation to the new camp near Mosul."

Sources cited by Al-Mayadeen on September 14th also indicated that following this initial phase, a comprehensive disarmament of these separatist groups would be undertaken.

These developments coincide with the visit of Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein to the Iranian capital, Tehran, to engage in discussions about security measures.

It's worth noting that last month, Iran's Foreign Ministry announced that Iraq had agreed to disarm and relocate Kurdish militant groups along the Iranian border, with a set deadline of September 19th for completion. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani emphasized that the deadline would not be extended and hinted at possible military action by Iran if the agreement was not properly executed.

However, on September 10th, a Kurdish official suggested that Iraq and Kurdish authorities might not be able to fulfill the agreement before the looming September 19th deadline, despite Baghdad's prior commitment to do so.

Earlier this year, in March, the Iraqi government signed a border security agreement with Iran, pledging to curb the activities of Kurdish armed groups. Kurdish militias, notably the KDPI, have posed security threats to Iran from Iraqi territory for years. The KDPI, in particular, has been active for decades and operates in exile from northern Iraq. It played a significant role in the 1979 Kurdish rebellion in Iran and received support from Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war. The group also played a part in anti-government protests in Iran last year.

In response to the Kurdish presence near the Iranian border, Iran has conducted numerous operations and strikes against KDPI positions in Iraq.

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