Iran Acknowledges Responsibility for Fatal Strike on Pakistani Soil

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Iran Acknowledges Responsibility for Fatal Strike on Pakistani Soil

Source – Sun TV

Iran’s Missile and Drone Strike Escalates Tensions with Pakistan

By [Errraand News]

Date: [17-01-2024]

Islamabad, Pakistan – In a shocking development, Iran has admitted to carrying out a missile and drone attack on western Pakistan, raising tensions between the two neighboring nations. The strike, which targeted the militant group Jaish al-Adl, has resulted in two children losing their lives and three others being injured in the Balochistan region.

According to Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the operation aimed at addressing what he described as an “Iranian terrorist group” operating within Pakistan. The move has prompted the Pakistani government to recall its ambassador to Iran and block Tehran’s envoy from returning, terming the attack as “illegal” and warning of “serious consequences.”

The strike on Balochistan follows recent Iranian attacks on targets in Iraq and Syria earlier in the week. Despite Pakistan’s assertion of the attack’s illegality, Iran’s foreign minister, speaking in Davos, insisted that only members of Jaish al-Adl were targeted, not Pakistani citizens.

Source – BBC

“We only targeted Iranian terrorists on the soil of Pakistan,” Mr. Amir-Abdollahian stated, emphasizing Iran’s commitment to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan.

The international community has begun to weigh in on the situation, with China urging both Pakistan and Iran to exercise restraint and avoid actions that could escalate tensions. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, emphasized the close neighborly relationship between the two countries.

The strike on Balochistan is occurring amid escalating tensions in the Middle East, notably the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Tehran, while asserting its desire to avoid broader conflicts, is facing challenges as groups within its “Axis of Resistance” carry out attacks on Israel and its allies.

Tuesday’s airstrike in Pakistan targeted a village in the vast southwestern border province of Balochistan. Jaish al-Adl, an ethnic Baloch Sunni Muslim group, has been responsible for attacks both inside Iran and on Pakistani government forces. Last December, the group attacked a police station in Rask, near the border with Pakistan.

Iran’s recent actions also come in the wake of its worst domestic attack since the Islamic Revolution, with two bombs killing 84 people at a ceremony in Kerman. The country responded with ballistic missile strikes on Syria and Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, alleging involvement of the Islamic State and Israel’s Mossad spy agency in the Kerman bombings.

However, the strike on Pakistan, a nuclear-armed neighbor, represents a significant escalation. Pakistan expressed outrage, citing the existence of communication channels between the two countries. In response, Islamabad has recalled its ambassador to Iran, and the Iranian ambassador is barred from returning for the time being.

Despite the delicate but cordial relationship between Pakistan and Iran, both nations have accused each other of harboring militant groups responsible for cross-border attacks over the years. The security situation along their shared 900-kilometer border has been a longstanding concern for both governments.

The targeted village, Sabz Koh, lies approximately 45 kilometers from the Iranian border and 90 kilometers from the nearest town, Panjgur. It is described as a sparsely populated area inhabited by Baloch tribes engaged in livestock ownership, where smuggling of goods, drugs, and weapons is prevalent.

Security commentator Zaigham Khan pointed out that people on both sides of the border perceive themselves as deprived of basic necessities, facing discrimination, and demanding a larger share of their own resources. The Sunni Muslim Baloch minority in Iran alleges discrimination in the Shia Muslim-majority state, while Baloch separatist groups continue an insurgent movement against the Pakistani government.

Jaish al-Adl, designated as a terrorist group by both Washington and Tehran, is considered the “most active and influential” Sunni militant group operating in Sistan-Baluchestan, according to the US Director of National Intelligence.

Aamir Rana, a security commentator in Pakistan, believes that the diplomatic crisis may take a while to calm down. However, he notes that Pakistan would not want to escalate the situation further, leaving the ball in Iran’s court to determine its next course of action. The international community will closely watch the unfolding developments, hoping for a peaceful resolution to the escalating tensions between these two regional neighbors.

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