Jaish al-Adl base targeted: Iran's attack in Pakistan sparks diplomatic crisis | World News - Hindustan Times

Jaish al-Adl base targeted: Iran's attack in Pakistan sparks diplomatic crisis

Jan 17, 2024 07:41 AM IST

The attack also follows Iranian strikes on Iraq and Syria, as Tehran lashes out following a dual suicide bombing earlier this month claimed by Islamic State.

Two children lost their lives, and three others sustained injuries in what Pakistan claims to be an "illegal" airstrike conducted by Iran. The incident prompted Pakistan's foreign ministry to summon Tehran's top diplomat in Islamabad, expressing vehement protest against the alleged “unprovoked violation of its airspace.”

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

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency and state television had said that missiles and drones were used in the strikes in Pakistan. Press TV, the English-language arm of Iranian state television, attributed the attack to Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard. Confusion followed the announcement from Iran as state media reports on it soon disappeared.

Iran said that the target of its attacks was the bases for the militant group Jaish al-Adl, potentially further raising tensions in a Middle East already roiled by Israel's war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Jaish al-Adl, known as the “Army of Justice,” is a Sunni militant group founded in 2012, primarily operating across the border in Pakistan. The group has a history of claiming responsibility for bombings and abduction of Iranian border police.

While Iran has engaged in border clashes with militants in the past, launching a missile-and-drone attack on Pakistan was an unprecedented move. Iranian reports have placed the strikes in the mountains of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.

Pakistan strongly condemned the violation of its sovereignty, deeming it "completely unacceptable" and warning of potential serious consequences.

Tensions between Tehran and Islamabad have often involved accusations of allowing militants to operate from each other's territories, although direct engagement by official forces is rare. The Pakistani foreign ministry expressed heightened concern over the airstrike, stressing the occurrence of such an "illegal act" despite established communication channels between the two nations.

"It is even more concerning that this illegal act has taken place despite the existence of several channels of communication between Pakistan and Iran. Pakistan's strong protest has already been lodged with the concerned senior official in the Iran ministry of foreign affairs in Tehran," the statement read.

"Such unilateral acts are not in conformity with good neighbourly relations and can seriously undermine bilateral trust and confidence," it added.

The attack took place a day after similar Iranian strikes in Iraq and Syria.

Iran's missile attacks targeted what it claimed were Israeli "spy headquarters" in Irbil, the capital of Iraq's northern semi-autonomous Kurdish region, and locations associated with the Islamic State group in northern Syria. The strikes, occurring amid heightened regional tensions, came after the Islamic State claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings earlier in the month.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said in a statement that it launched four missiles at IS positions in Syria's Idlib province and 11 missiles at the Kurdish region in northern Iraq, where it said it hit a centre of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency.

Qassim al-Araji, the adviser for national security affairs to Iraq's Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani who is heading a committee investigating the attack in Irbil, said Iran's "claims of targeting a Mossad headquarters are baseless.”

Iraq, meanwhile, has recalled its ambassador from Tehran for consultations and summoned Iran’s chargé d’affaires in Baghdad in protest over Iranian strikes on northern Iraq. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry labelled the Iranian attack as a "blatant violation" of Iraq's sovereignty, strongly contradicting principles of good neighbourliness and international law, and posing a threat to the security of the region.

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