TEHRAN, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Iranian military commanders claim they struck a major blow against the rebel Party of Free Life of Kurdistan in attacks in the northwestern provinces.
Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour, the commander of ground forces for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp, said his troops struck the Kurdish rebels who he claims were hiding out in the northwest provinces, the Fars news agency reports.
"The IRGC forces have inflicted a deadly blow on the terrorist and anti-revolutionary groups in the northwestern parts of Iran," he said.
The U.S. Treasury Department in February froze the assets of the Free Life Party of Kurdistan, or PJAK, because of its alleged ties to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which is listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department.
Iranian forces have battled PJAK and PKK rebels for years. Meanwhile, as of July 2008, PJAK claims it killed more than 50 Iranian soldiers and captured nearly a dozen military vehicles.
PJAK claims it has witnessed "American spy" aircraft near its border strongholds during raids conducted by Iranian military forces, though Tehran claims PJAK operates with U.S. assistance in the region.