Pakistan has launched retaliatory military strikes on Iran, raising tensions between the two nations. The strikes come in response to Iranian air attacks on Pakistani territory, fueling fears of a conflict in the region.
The events began when Iran launched air strikes using drones and missiles on Jaish al-Adl, an armed group operating near Panjgur city in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.
Tehran accused Jaish al-Adl of multiple attacks, including a suicide bombing in Kerman that claimed the lives of 85 Iranians.
The Iranian strikes reportedly resulted in the death of two children and injuries to several others in Pakistan.
Pakistan termed them unacceptable and reserved the right to respond to this illegal act. The Pakistani government condemned the violation of its airspace and warned of serious consequences.
As a measure of protest, Pakistan recalled its ambassador from Tehran and suspended visits between the two countries.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it had conducted a retaliatory intelligence-based operation in the Sistan-Baluchistan province of Iran.
Code-named “Marg Bar Sarmachar” (Death to Saramchar), the operation targeted hideouts of armed groups, including the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF).
The operation, described as highly coordinated and specifically targeted, resulted in the death of a number of terrorists, according to Pakistan.
Pakistan, in its statement, said its consistent concerns over the safe sanctuaries enjoyed by Pakistani-origin terrorists, referred to as ‘Sarmachars,’ within Iran’s ungoverned spaces.
The ministry claimed that Pakistan had shared multiple dossiers with concrete evidence of the presence and activities of these terrorists with the Iranian government over the years.
Pakistan expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of action by Iran in addressing these concerns, leading to the decision to conduct the retaliatory operation.
As of now, the Iranian government has not officially acknowledged Pakistan’s retaliatory strikes. China, Turkey, and the Taliban government in Afghanistan have called for restraint and dialogue to resolve the issues between Pakistan and Iran.
Both countries share concerns about the lawless border areas, where drug smugglers and militant Baloch groups operate.
The escalation also coincides with regional conflicts, including Israel’s engagements with Hamas in Gaza and Iran-backed groups in Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria.
Balochistan, Afghanistan, and Iran converge, has a history of hosting separatist movements. The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and the Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) are among the groups seeking greater autonomy for the Baloch people.
Iran’s recent ballistic missile strikes in Iraq, targeting an alleged Israeli spy base, and its claims of hitting ISIS and Mossad targets in Syria contribute to the attack.