Heavy fighting has broken out again in the Kurdish stronghold of Saqqez as government helicopters pounded rebel positions for the second day running on Thursday (23 August).
Heavy fighting has broken out again in the Kurdish stronghold of Saqqez as government helicopters pounded rebel positions for the second day running on Thursday (23 August). Army sources outside Saqqez said they were waiting for artillery reinforcements to rout the Kurds. Iran's unofficial Head of State the Ayatollah Khomeini, after attempting on Wednesday (22 August), to bribe the Kurds, with a day's oil revenues, to lay down their arms, warned the rebels that if they continued to oppose the islamic regime, he would order the whole nation to crush them.
SYNOPSIS: This is the major Kurdistan town of Karmanshah. It has been occupied by the Ayatollah's Revolutionary Guards for four months, and has been the location of many recent executions of Kurdish rebels.
Twenty-nine Kurdish rebels have so far been executed. The Kurish Democratic Party claim to have released more than three hundred guards, but warn that if the executions continue it will be an "eye for an eye" retribution.
It is in the towns on the north and west where the heaviest fighting of the current rebellion has taken place, and the conflict is full of splintering loyalties. The Kurds say they are only fighting for recognition as a people, and self-rule on domestic matters. The Ayatollah Khomeini insists they plan to secede.
In the Governor's Palace in Karmanshah, the governor, Mr. Mohamed Sepehripur prepared to peace for Teheran ... The Kurds insist they have no quarrel with the armed forces -- it is the military m???scle of the Islamic clergy, the Revolutionary Guards they hate.
The peasants, however, say they will fight for the islamic government because they are Moslems. Since the week-end massive numbers of soldiers have been sent to Kudistan, but the armed forces of Iran are reported to be demoralized and are showing signs of tiring of keeping Iran's ethnic minorities in line.
However, Khomeini has reiterated his call on the Kurds to arrest their leaders. The Ayatollah said that if they did not end their uprising he would issue an even stronger call to fight; stronger than his weekend mobilisation order.