TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard attacked a Kurdish militant group’s base in the north of neighboring Iraq on Saturday, state media said.
The death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died in custody after being detained by Iran’s morality police, has sparked unrest throughout the Iranian province and the capital of Tehran.Amini’s family hails from Iran’s Kurdish region is.
IRNA said Guards ground forces fired artillery from positions within Iran’s West Azerbaijan province, attacking what it described as a “terrorist group” based across the Iraqi border. The report doesn’t go into detail.
IRNA also said that some members of Iran’s so-called “Komre” separatist group had been arrested by intelligence forces, but did not give details.
The semi-official Tasnim News Agency, which is believed to be close to the Iranian military, quoted a statement from the Security Forces saying operations would continue to ensure border security.
Tasnim added that the attack, which targeted a Kurdish separatist group’s base in northern Iraq, occurred at 16:00 local time and caused severe damage.
The Guard’s attack was in response to the separatist group’s support for recent unrest in Iran and an attempt to import weapons into Iran, the report said.
State television suggested on Saturday that 41 protesters and police officers had been killed since protests erupted last Saturday. At least 11 people have died from both sides since the protests began after Amini’s funeral, according to an Associated Press tally.
Iranian authorities have also disrupted protests by suspending or cutting internet access and tightening restrictions on popular platforms such as Instagram and WhatsApp.
On Monday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that his satellite internet company Starlink would seek permission to operate in Iran. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said it was up to the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to determine Starlink’s next steps.
The U.S. Treasury Department announced Friday that it has allowed U.S. technology companies to expand their operations in Iran, one of the world’s most sanctioned countries, and facilitate Internet access for Iranian citizens.
Iran’s foreign ministry condemned the US move, saying “the move to violate Iran’s sovereignty is not without answers.”
In a tweet, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani accused the United States of a “heinous plan.” He said Washington was “relaxing communications sanctions while maintaining maximum pressure, both of which were meant to cause instability.”