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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Iranian Jets Bomb Rebel Camps in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Baghdad said eight Iranian planes bombed targets inside Iraq on Monday, and an Iranian opposition group based in Iraq said two of its camps were attacked in the raid.


A United Nations official in Baghdad said UN observers monitoring a relief program have pulled out from Kut and Dailya where the raids took place.


"At 7 a.m. local time ... eight Iranian warplanes raided targets inside our territory in Dailya and Kut provinces. Our alert anti-aircraft units have confronted the enemy planes as soon as the raids took place," an Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman said.


Mujahedin Khalq, Iran's main exile opposition group, said the raids targeted two of their camps -- one near the city of Kut, 170 kilometers southeast of Baghdad and the other near Jalwlaa, 130 kilometers northeast of the capital.


The group, which advocates the armed overthrow of the clergy-dominated government in Tehran, operates from military camps inside Iraq close to the borders with Iran. It has intensified its cross-border raids and attacks inside Iran in the past year.


The Iraqi spokesman said Iran was fully responsible for any casualties and damage caused by the raids, but gave no details.


"Our jet fighters chased the invading planes, forcing them to flee inside Iran," the spokesman said, according to the official Iraqi News Agency.


There was no immediate comment from Iran.


Iraq and Iran fought a ruinous war from 1980 to 1988 and the two countries are still at loggerheads over several issues, such as repatriating prisoners of war and more than 100 planes sent by Iraq to Iran to escape bombing during the U.S.-led 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait.


Mujahedin Khalq said the raids "caused no casualties among the [Mujahedin Khalq's] fighters but there are casualties among Iraqi civilians because some of the bombs hit Iraqi residential areas near these camps."


Mujahedin bases in Iraq have been the target of air and rocket attacks by Iran in the past. The group's office in Baghdad is ringed by a concrete wall which has withstood mortar and bomb attacks.


Eric Falt, spokesman for Iraq's UN humanitarian coordinator, said "in light of these reports ... observers involved in the implementation of oil-for-food deal in governorates of Kut and Dailya have been invited to return to Baghdad."


Around 130 UN observers are monitoring the food distribution program in Iraq under a UN deal that allows Baghdad oil sales worth $2 billion over six months in exchange for food and medicine.





to help Iraqis suffering because of UN trade sanctions imposed for Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.


Mujahedin Khalq's Massoud Rajavi sent letters to the UN secretary general and members of the Security Council "urging them to condemn this terrorist attack," the group said.