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Iran blames Turkey for PKK-affiliate clash on border

An Iranian Kurdish militia's attack on Iranian border guards has further muddled the often contradictory actions of Turkey, Iran and their respective proxies and enemies who occasionally double up as both.
The commander of the Iranian border guards Qassim Rezai speaks during a press conference with his Iraqi counterpart, Musatafa Abdulkarim, after signing a cooperation agreement between the two countries on April 22, 2015 in of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. AFP PHOTO / SAFIN HAMED        (Photo credit should read SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)

The mind-bending array of alliances and counter-alliances that have long defined armed Kurdish groups seemed to get another twist when a long dormant Iranian Kurdish militia recently attacked Iranian border guards near the city of Urmiya, killing two and wounding seven others.

What was extraordinary about the incident was not so much that the group known as the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) has resumed its activities, but that Iran held Turkey responsible. In comments carried by the Fars News Agency on May 28, Iranian border guards commander Qassem Rezayee said the Iranians “consider Turkey responsible, and the country should account for this act.” Rezayee vowed, “Iranian forces will certainly give a crushing response to these moves.”

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