Friday, August 24, 2007

Iranians attack Kurdish rebels in Iraq

By Chris Collins and Yaseen Taha | McClatchy Newspapers

BAGHDAD — Iranian soldiers crossed into Iraq on Thursday and attacked several small villages in the northeastern Kurdish region, local officials said.

U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Garver said he couldn't confirm the attacks, but five Kurdish officials said that troops had infiltrated Iraqi territory and fired on villages.

The Iranian military regularly exchanges artillery and rocket fire with Kurdish rebels who've taken refuge across the border, but Iraqi Kurdish officials worried that Iran's willingness to cross the border raises the possibility of a broader confrontation that would draw the Iraqi government and U.S. forces into an unwanted showdown.

Iranian troops crossed the border in 10 places and traveled approximately three miles into the mountainous Iraqi region, bombing rural villages in the process. He didn't say how many Iranian troops were involved.

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