TEHRAN – The chief staff of the Iranian armed forces on Friday warned U.S. forces against cooperation with anti-Iran terrorists in the Iraqi Kurdistan, stressing Tehran will retaliate against any hostile action against Iranian drones after the country pounded terrorist bases in northern Iraq.
“If the Americans carry out any action against Iranian drones, the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran will respond to their hostile measure,” Major General Muhammad Baqeri warned.
His remarks came after U.S. Central Command claimed Wednesday that it had downed an Iranian military drone near Erbil because it “appeared as a threat to CENTCOM forces in the area”.
General Baqeri said Iran’s operations are aimed at “separatist terrorists”, adding that “for now, we do not have any plan to act against the Americans”.
The top general said Iran’s armed forces have “complete and precise” information about U.S. bases in Harir, Erbil, and Duhok.
The Americans’ claim of downing an Iranian military drone proves that the U.S. is cooperating with anti-Iranian terrorists and separatists, General Baqeri said, stressing that Iran reserves the right to retaliate the hostile move.
“We will deal with it at a proper time and place,” he added.
Since Saturday, the IRGC ground forces have launched a series of aerial raids on the positions of terrorist groups based in the Iraqi Kurdistan, including the so-called Komala party, which has gained a strong foothold in the region bordering Iran.
Addressing the neighboring states which host U.S. military bases, Gen. Baqeri said, “If any hostile measure against the Islamic Republic of Iran, its national security, and its national interests are adopted by American bases in these neighboring states, we will certainly respond.”
The top general said Iran’s friendship with neighboring states has its own rules which if are not abided by, those countries should expect Iran’s logical response.
“We deem confronting any hostile act as our legitimate right,” he said.
IRGC’s ground force on Wednesday launched at least 73 ballistic missiles and dozens of suicide drones against anti-Iran terrorists holed up in the Iraqi Kurdistan.
The IRGC launched the military operations in response to the dispatching of terror teams and a large cache of weapons to western Iranian regions aimed at creating unrest following the death of a 22-year-old Iranian woman.
Washington on Thursday confirmed that an American was killed during the IRGC military operations against terrorist bases in northern Iraq.
We can confirm that a U.S. citizen was killed as a result of a rocket attack in the Iraqi Kurdistan region,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said.
He declined to provide further details citing privacy laws, raising speculation that the killed American may have had links to security agencies.
The Komala group has a long history of involvement in terror attacks and acts of sabotage in Iran in close collaboration with the U.S. and the Zionist regime. Back in August, Iran’s intelligence ministry dismantled a Mossad-affiliated terrorist group some members of which were from Komala.
In a statement on Thursday, the IRGC ground force said the operations will continue until all anti-Iran separatist and terrorist outfits holed up in the rugged mountainous area lay down their arms and surrender.
“We are calling on the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government to demonstrate more seriousness as to their responsibilities towards the Islamic Republic of Iran as their neighbor,” it said.