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With the Kurdish PDKI on the border with Iran: Exclusive new photos from Zach Huff

Zach Huff, a field researcher with MECRA, recently travelled to the border areas of northern Iraq and Iran with the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan where he spent time with the Kurdish men and women who oppose Tehran's regime. He walked through the mountains and streams with the PDKI, and photographed their life and and the obstacles they face. The following is a look at a few of the photos he took, part of a larger project that MECRA is focusing on to highlight the Kurds in Iran. The PDKI has increased its activity in Iran in the last months. This comes in the context of new sanctions by the US on Iran.

Kurdish PDKI members in training at an obstacle course. (Zach Huff)

Kurdish PDKI members run through an obstacle course as part of a peshmerga training program. According to the PDKI the number of men and women being trained had quadrupled recently.

A PDKI member drinks from a stream (Zach Huff)

The terrain on the border between Iran and Iraq is strenuous but the land provides ample water and resources for the activists.

Kurdish activists crossing the mountains toward Iran (Zach Huff)

Since 2015 the PDKI has been seeking to revitalize its Peshmerga and their presence in cities and towns. Over the last six months there have been numerous reports of clashes in which up to 35 IRGC members and 11 PDKI members were killed.

PDKI members walking in the hills near the border (Zach Huff)

Familiarity with the mountains and terrain enables the PDKI to carry on its operations.

Kurdish PDKI members in the mountains (Zach Huff)

Iranian shelling of the border has caused fires on the mountains. In recent months the regime has sought to target PDKI bases and operations.

An Iranian regime outpost near the border (Zach Huff)

An Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps outpost is under construction along the border. In many recent clashes the PDKI has targeted the IRGC and it has increased its activity in the Kurdish region of western Iran.

A house used by the PDKI (Zach Huff)

A small house provides shelter for the activists. Iranian drones are a frequent threat to the PDKI and houses like this can provide cover from them.

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