US Citizen Among The Dead In Iran Cross-Border Drone Attack On Iraq's Kurds

 Authored by Jason Ditz via AntiWar.com,

Continuing to reel from public protests and the international rebuke for their handling of them, Iran is going down the path so many others have tried, seeking a military solution.

To that end, Iran fired artillery at Kurdish groups in the area along the Iraqi border, killing 13. The attacks centered on Koya, east of the Iraqi Kurdish city of Irbil. While the Kurds are seemingly unrelated to this issue, Iranian officials are claiming that they are fueling the latest unrest inside Iran, and suggested that they are smuggling weapons to the protesters. Iran also sent a drone in a direction of Irbil, and with Iraq requesting US action they shot down the UAV. CENTCOM said Iran’s indiscriminate attacks were a threat to stability.

Via AP: An Iranian drone bombing campaign targeting the bases of an Iranian-Kurdish opposition group in northern Iraq killed and wounded dozens.

CENTCOM said US forces suffered no damage in the matter, nor any casualties. Analysts say they believe Iran wanted to “externalize” the ongoing unrest. The evidence is lacking, but Iran has been at odds with Kurdish rebels for awhile, and making them a scapegoat is a time-honored tradition across the region.

Colonel Joe Buccino, CENTCOM (US Central Command) communications director, said in a statement, "At approximately 2:10 PM local time, US forces brought down an Iranian Mojer-6 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle headed in the direction of Erbil as it appeared as a threat to CENTCOM forces in the area."

“CENTCOM personnel operate in Iraq at the invitation of the Government of Iraq to advise, assist, and enable partner forces in the ensuring the lasting defeat of ISIS," he added.

The statement singled out  "the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ unprovoked attack in Iraq’s Erbil Governorate this morning." The US military spokesman added: "Such indiscriminate attacks threaten innocent civilians and risk the hard-fought stability of the region."

“No US forces were wounded or killed as a result of the strikes and there is no damage to US equipment," Col. Buccino noted.

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Later it was widely reported that "A US citizen, Omar 'Chicho' Mahmoudzadeh was killed in the strikes, according to UK-based Persian news network Iran International," The Jerusalem Post writes.

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