Members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) rest in front of a portrait of jailed Kurdish rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan at a camp on July 29, 2015 in the Qandil mountain, Iraq. (AFP)

August 13, 2022

Iran’s intelligence apparatus has cooperated with Turkey to kill an Iranian-born senior leader of the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) which seeks self-determination for Iran’s Kurdish minority.

The so-called Amude-Derbesiye provincial leader of the PKK/YPG, Yusif Mehmud Rebani (Youssef Rabbani), code-named Rezan Cavit, was killed in a drone strike in the Syrian city of Qamishli by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) on August 6, Turkish media announced on Friday.

The drone struck his car and killed at least four other people, including Mazlum Esat, code-named Ruhaz Amude, and wounded two more.

“Commander Youssef Rabbani who was in Qamishil for a visit was confirmed dead in the attack,” Hamrin Ali, the co-president of the local council of the Jazira region in the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) said.

He joined the PKK in the 1990s, and in 2010 was part of the “Coordination Committee”, the highest executive body of the Iranian branch of the organization, PJAK. MIT claimed he had also ordered the attacks against the Turkish armed forces during the period when the PKK was in charge of the Haftanin province.

Generally, the Kurdish parties in Iran − including Komala and the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) − favor Kurdish autonomy within a federal Iran. Pejak (the Free Life Party of Kurdistan), an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), formed in Turkey but also based in northern Iraq, has generally favored a unified, independent Kurdistan uniting Kurds in Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran.

Iran International

About Track Persia

Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.