Adding to the tensions over Iran’s recent shelling into Iraqi Kurdistan, officials of the Kurdish regional government are claiming that Iran has begun building a small fortified structure on top of a mountain, on the Iraqi side of the border.
Iran and Iraq have had border disputes in the past, including a December clash involving the Maysan oil field, which both sides had agreed at one point was mutually owned but which now both sides claim as their own.
The ill-defined border is even more dicey in Kurdistan, where mountainous terrain makes the border even less apparent. This was ironically the argument in defense of three American hikers arrested for “accidentally” hiking into Iran in the Kurdish region, that they couldn’t tell which side of the border they were on.
Both Iran and Turkey regularly launch attacks against the remote mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan, as the region is a hotbed for their own Kurdish rebels to operate from. Iran’s most recent salvo has brought it dangerously close to the populated area, however, and at least one civilian is reported to have been slain.