Iran says it has hit two bases of the Baluchi militant group Jaish al-Adl in Pakistan on Tuesday, just one day after attacks on alleged ‘terror’ targets in Iraq and Syria.
The drone and missile strikes in Pakistan occurred a day after Iranian missile strikes in Syria and Iraq. These strikes were carried out as a response to a double suicide bombing in Kerman, which resulted in the deaths of over 80 Iranians.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. It remains uncertain whether Tehran believes Jaish al-Adl played a role in the bombing or if the strikes were simply a means to appease domestic demands for revenge. While the Iranian reprisal attacks do not seem to be directly linked to the ongoing Gaza war, they have coincided with a period of increased instability in the region caused by the conflict.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan reported that two children lost their lives and three others sustained injuries in the attack that was deemed “illegal”. In response to this “unprovoked violation of its airspace”, Islamabad summoned the senior diplomat from Tehran.
While the ministry did not provide further information regarding the strikes, social media accounts in Pakistan have claimed that missile and drone attacks targeted the Balochistan province, which spans the 1,000km border shared by both nations.
A statement by the Pakistani government condemned what it said was Iran’s violation of its airspace.
“Pakistan strongly condemns the unprovoked violation of its airspace by Iran and the strike inside Pakistani territory which resulted in death of two innocent children while injuring three girls. This violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty is completely unacceptable and can have serious consequences.”
China on Wednesday urged Pakistan and Iran to show “restraint”.
“We call on both sides to exercise restraint, avoid actions that would lead to an escalation of tension and work together to maintain peace and stability,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning told a regular briefing.
“We consider both Iran and Pakistan as close neighbours and major Islamic countries,” she said.