Sunday, August 19, 2007

Kurds flee homes as Iran shells villages in Iraq

Guardian: Guerrillas in clashes with Revolutionary Guards · Conflict threatens stability of Kurdistan region

Iraqi Kurdish officials expressed deepening concern yesterday at an upsurge in fierce clashes between Kurdish guerrillas and Iranian forces in the remote border area of north-east Iraq, where Tehran has recently deployed thousands of Revolutionary Guards.

photo: IRGC, Yahoo

Jabar Yawar, a deputy minister in the Kurdistan regional government, said four days of intermittent shelling by Iranian forces had hit mountain villages high up on the Iraqi side of the border, wounding two women, destroying livestock and property, and displacing about 1,000 people from their homes. Mr Yawer said there had also been intense fighting on the Iraqi border between Iranian forces and guerrillas of the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), an armed Iranian Kurdish group that is stepping up its campaign for Kurdish rights against the theocratic regime in Tehran.
"If this escalates it could pose a real threat to the Kurdistan region, which is Iraq's most stable area," said Mr Yawar, who said he expected the Iraqi government and US officials in Iraq to make a formal protest to Tehran about the "blatant violation of Iraqi sovereignty".


programmer craig said...

Hmmmm.... where did Iran get Soviet Mi-8 "Hip" helicopters?

Are those new? Iran has been using old US made equipment left over from the Shah's era, such as these:

I'm gonna look into this after dinner and see if I can find exactly what the Russians have sold to Iran in recent years. This pisses me off, the Russians pretending to be on our side while in the "negotiations" while at the same time selling the Islamic Republic weapons. Good thing that helicopter sucks. Lets hope the rest of whatever the Russian bastards sold them sucks just as much.

programmer craig said...

Major transfers between 1989 and 2000 include at least 104 T-72 tanks from Poland, 422 T-72s from Russia, 413 BMP-2 IFVs from Russia, self-propelled artillery from Russia and 106 artillery pieces from China; small numbers of SA-2 SAMs from China and SA-5 and SA-6 SAMs from Russia; five Mi-17 helicopters, twelve Su-24 strike aircraft, and twenty-four MiG-29 fighters from Russia, and twenty older F-7 fighters from China; ten Houdong-class fast attack craft and C-802 anti-ship cruise missiles from China, three Kilo-class submarines from Russia, and large numbers of wake-homing torpedoes from Russia and advanced naval mines from Russia and China.

The Mi-17 helicopter, developed at the Mil Design Bureau from the Mi-8 helicopter, is in serial manufactured at the Kazan Helicopter Production Association. The designation Mi-17 is for export; the Russian armed forces called it Mi-8MT.

The first block of quotes is a summary of military equipment Iran bought between 1989 and 2001.

So, the Islamic Republic bought 5 of those export versions of the Mi-8 during that period of time. Not a big number, which is a relief! I'm trying to find more current info now.

programmer craig said...

Mil Mi-8 Medium-lift transport helicopter:

Mi-8MTW 4
Mi-17 2
Mi-171Sh 46

According to Wikipedia, Iran has 52 of those Russian medium lift helicopters, but for some reason they are all assigned to the Air Force.

The Iranian Army has roughly 150 US made helicopters, including 20 CH-47 Chinooks (Heavy Lift, older version of what the US Army uses) and 45 AH-1J Cobras (Attack Helicopter, older version of what the US Marines use). Those two count, but Iran has them in small numbers, and they are surely in poor repair.

It looks like Iran has bought some 500 Soviet T-72 tanks in recent years. That's a good tank. But it's old. And it's the same same Saddam had. They didn't do well against the US military.

So, all in all, I'm glad to say it looks like Russia and China haven't sold the Islamic Republic anything cutting edge. We need to keep an eye on the Russians, real close, right about now though.

programmer craig said...

One more "Hmmm"....

TEHRAN (AFP) - Six Iranian Revolutionary Guards were killed when their helicopter crashed during an operation against rebels close to the Iraqi border, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Saturday.

"The helicopter was used by the Revolutionary Guards for operations against the terrorist group of Pejak and crashed due to bad weather east of Qandil mountains near Piranshahr in West Azarbaijan province," Mehr said.

Looks like Iran lost a helicopter in the clash you are talking about.

SERENDIP said...

Good Job Craig. I picked that picture out of several pictures on IRGC on Yahoo. I knew there was something different about that helicopter but I did not know why? Now, I do. Thanks.