Tensions build along Iraq-Iran border

The separatist Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran is aiming to consolidate its control over the area.

| | Kurds, Iraq, Iran, Middle East

The Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), which seeks Kurdish autonomy in the country and has been exiled to Iraq, has been intensifying its presence along the border area in recent days.

The separatist group helped to defend northern Iraq against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group (ISIL, also known as ISIS), and with the battle for Mosul now over, it is focusing on consolidating its control over parts of the Iraq-Iran border.

Last month, the KDPI and local villagers reported an Iranian shelling attack near the party's bases in Iraq, which they described as an escalation of military operations. The upcoming Iraqi Kurdish independence referendum in September could also change the game in this crucial border area.

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