Iran says it has launched attacks on ‘militant bases’ in Pakistan | World News - Hindustan Times

Iran says it has launched attacks on ‘militant bases’ in Pakistan

AP | | Posted by Singh Rahul Sunilkumar
Jan 17, 2024 01:07 AM IST

Iran launches attacks on bases inside Pakistan for militant group Jaish al-Adl

Iran launched attacks Tuesday in Pakistan targeting what it described as bases for the militant group Jaish al-Adl, state media reported, potentially further raising tensions in a Middle East already roiled by Israel's war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The Iranian flag(REUTERS)
The Iranian flag(REUTERS)

Confusion followed the announcements as some of the reports soon disappeared. However, any attack inside of nuclear-armed Pakistan by Iran would threaten the relations between the two countries, which long have eyed each other with suspicion while maintaining diplomatic relations.

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The state-run IRNA news agency and state television had said that missiles and drones were used in the attack, which was not immediately acknowledged by Pakistan.

Jaish al-Adl, or the “Army of Justice,” is a Sunni militant group founded in 2012 which largely operates across the border in Pakistan. Iran has fought in border areas against the militants, but a missile-and-drone attack on Pakistan would be unprecedented for Iran.

The militants have claimed bombings and kidnapped Iranian border police in the past.

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The state media reports were then suddenly removed without explanation, though the semiofficial Fars and Tasnim news agencies still ran nearly identical stories on their websites Tuesday night. Press TV, the English-language arm of Iranian state television, later attributed the attack to Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

The reports described the strikes as happening in the mountains of Pakistan's Balochistan province, the scene of low-level insurgency by Baluch nationalists for more than two decades. Baluch nationalists initially wanted a share of provincial resources, but later initiated an insurgency for independence.

Authorities offered no explanation of what was happening, though sensitive stories in Iran can suddenly disappear from state media.

Officials in Pakistan did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Iran long has suspected Sunni-majority Pakistan as hosting insurgents, possibly at the behest of its regional archrival Saudi Arabia. However, Iran and Saudi Arabia reached a Chinese-mediated détente last March, easing tensions.

Late Monday, Iran fired missiles into Iraq at what it called an Israeli “spy headquarters” near the U.S. Consulate compound in the city of Irbil, the seat of Iraq’s northern semi-autonomous Kurdish region, and at targets linked to the extremist Islamic State group in northern Syria.

Iraq on Tuesday called the attacks, which killed several civilians, a “blatant violation” of Iraq's sovereignty and recalled its ambassador from Tehran.

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