In a response to Iran’s recent airstrike on the Balochi group Jaish al-Adl’s headquarters within its borders, Pakistan launched retaliatory military strikes against what it referred to as “terrorist hideouts” in Iran. The operation, codenamed “Marg Bar Sarmachar,” resulted in the elimination of several terrorists, as reported by Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry.
What we know so far
|January 17, 2024
|Iran targets Jaish al-Adl in Pakistan
|January 18, 2024
|Pakistan conducts retaliatory strikes in Iran
|Diplomatic measures: Ambassador recall, high-level visits suspension
|Tensions escalate amidst regional conflicts
The development comes after Iran targeted “terrorist targets” in Pakistan on Tuesday, an action contested by Islamabad, which claimed the attack resulted in the death of two children. Today’s retaliatory strikes were characterized as a highly coordinated and specifically targeted operation in the Siestan-o-Baluchistan province of Iran, according to an official statement from Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry.
Describing Iran as a “brotherly country,” Islamabad asserted that the strikes were a manifestation of Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to protecting and defending its national security against all threats. The statement emphasized that the sole objective of the military action was to safeguard Pakistan’s security and national interests, which the country deems non-negotiable.
Pakistan reiterated its respect for Iran’s sovereignty and territorial integrity while expressing longstanding concerns about safe havens for terrorists operating within Iran. The statement highlighted Pakistan’s consistent efforts to share concrete evidence, through multiple dossiers, regarding the presence and activities of terrorists it claims are operating with impunity inside Iran.
The decision to undertake the military operation was based on credible intelligence indicating the imminent large-scale terrorist activities by these groups, commonly known as ‘Sarmachars,’ according to Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry.
Earlier in the week, Iran had targeted two bases of Jaish al-Adl in Pakistan’s Balochistan province with missiles and drones. Pakistan condemned the violation of its airspace and warned Iran of serious consequences. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs labeled Iran’s actions as an “unprovoked and blatant breach” of Pakistan’s sovereignty, citing it as a violation of international law and the principles of the United Nations Charter.
As tensions escalate between the two neighboring countries, Pakistan has taken diplomatic measures, recalling its ambassador from Iran and suspending high-level visits. The responsibility for the consequences of this “illegal act” was squarely placed on Iran, as stated by Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
These events unfold against the backdrop of the Hamas-Israel conflict in the Middle East and an increase in attacks on vessels in the Red Sea, creating a complex geopolitical landscape in the region.