BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq summoned the Iranian ambassador on Thursday to deliver a diplomatic complaint following a deadly drone bombing campaign, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Iranian drones targeted an Iranian-Kurdish opposition group in northern Iraq on Wednesday, killing at least nine people and wounding 32 others. The strikes took place as demonstrations continued to engulf the Islamic Republic after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman who died while in the custody of the Iranian morality police.
Iran’s attacks targeted positions of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan in Koya, some 65 kilometers (35 miles) east of Irbil. The group, known by the acronym KDPI, is a leftist armed opposition force banned in Iran.
The Foreign Ministry said in its statement that civilians were among those killed.
It added that the Iraqi government condemned “this crime, which represented the continuation of Iranian forces’ encroachment on Iraq’s sovereignty.”
The ministry also warned of repercussions on “the societal peace of both countries and on regional security and stability.”
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency and broadcaster on Wednesday said the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guard targeted bases of a separatist group in the north of Iraq with “precision missiles” and “suicide drones.”
Gen. Hasan Hasanzadeh of the Revolutionary Guard said 185 Basijis, members of a volunteer force, were injured by “machete and knife” in the unrest. Hasanzadeh also said rioters broke the skull of one of the Basij members. He added that five Basijis are hospitalized in intensive care.
United Nations’ agencies, the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom all condemned the attacks on northern Iraq.
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq said in a tweet that the country cannot be treated as “the region’s “backyard” where neighbors routinely, and with impunity, violate its sovereignty.”
“Rocket diplomacy is a reckless act with devastating consequences,” the U.N. agency said.
Protests in Iran have raged following Amini’s death in detention, and spread across at least 46 cities, towns and villages in the country. State TV reported that at least 41 protesters and police have been killed since the demonstrations began Sept. 17.
An Associated Press count of official statements by authorities tallied at least 14 dead, with more than 1,500 demonstrators arrested.