Scores of Iranian soldiers were killed in clashes with PDKI’s Peshmerga Forces in eastern (Iranian) Kurdistan on June 15 and 16. Since then, Iran has taken various measures to conceal the casualties its armed forces have suffered in clashes with PDKI’s Peshmerga Forces. This has angered the families of those Iranian soldiers who were killed.
Thus far, Iranian authorities have only admitted that five members of the Islamic guards (IRGC), a paramilitary entity tasked with conducting terrorist operations, have been killed.
Iranian authorities have taken two measures to conceal that fact that more than 20 members of the IRGC have been killed in recent clashes with PDKI’s Peshmerga Forces.
In the funeral processions that were organized for the five members of the IRGC that the Iranian regime has admitted were killed in Kurdistan, people had been ordered to chant “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!”
Meanwhile, according to local sources in Nexede (Naqadeh), low-key funerals were held for at least 8 other members of the Islamic guards in the city.
In another measure, Tehran has tried to attribute some of its casualties to Iran’s involvement in the war against the opposition in Syria.
The Iranian regime clearly faces a dilemma.
One the one hand, Iran has decided to conduct military operations against PDKI’s Peshmerga Forces since they returned in great numbers to eastern Kurdistan. The Islamic guards also demolished two Kurdish villages with heavy artillery in a futile attempt to deter civilians from supporting Peshmerga. The villagers had sheltered PDKI’s Peshmerga Forces.
On the other hand, the Islamist regime in Tehran is concerned about projecting a false image of Iran as an “Island of stability” in the Middle East, a region plagued by war as a result of decades of authoritarian rule and ideolgical extremism.
Such measures by the Islamist regime in Tehran are an attempt to deflect attention from the war its forces are waging against the Kurdish people and PDKI’s Peshmerga Forces.
Nevertheless, the Iranian regime’s effort to deflect attention from its war in Kurdistan and, in particular, the desperate attempt to conceal the heavy casualties of its armed forces has resulted in internal discontent. For example, family members of those IRGC members who were killed on June 15 and 16 have started to voice their criticism of Iranian authorities on social media.
Another challenge for the Iranian regime is that international media is increasingly paying attention to its war in eastern Kurdistan.