Fractious Iranian Kurdish dissidents pose challenge for KRG stability

A splintering of opposition groups in Iraqi Kurdistan is complicating efforts to meet Iranian demands for secure borders in order to avoid more drone and missile attacks.
Smoke rises in the Koy Sanjaq district of Erbil, Iraq on Sept. 28, 2022, after Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps launched attacks on dissident groups including the Komala Party, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (IKDP) and the Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK). (FARIQ FARAJ/Andalou/Getty)

SULAIMANIYA - Iranian Kurdish dissidents based in Iraqi Kurdistan are engaged in a destabilizing internal conflict that could lead to a more confrontational posture toward Iran, with the potential for provoking more cross-border attacks by Tehran's military forces.

The Komala party, one of the main dissident groups, has generally maintained a policy against using Iraqi Kurdistan as a staging area for direct action against Iran. But now the party has split into three factions over a variety of disagreements, including whether to settle in refugee camps or maintain border bases, and how to structure alliances with other dissident groups.

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