Pakistan retaliates against Iran with air strikes on Baloch militants

By World News DESK

Pakistan on Thursday launched air strikes in Iran, targeting Baloch separatist groups that Islamabad accuses of carrying out terrorist attacks on its soil. The strikes came two days after Iran admitted to launching missile and drone attacks on a Sunni militant group in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, killing two people and injuring several others.

According to Pakistan’s foreign ministry, the air strikes were a “series of highly coordinated and specifically targeted precision military strikes against terrorist hideouts in Sistan-o-Baluchistan province of Iran”. The statement added that a “number of terrorists were killed” in the operation, and that Pakistan had “credible intelligence” that the Baloch militants were planning to launch cross-border attacks on Pakistan.

The foreign ministry also said that Pakistan considered Iran as a “brotherly country” and had “great respect and affection” for the Iranian people, but that it would not tolerate any violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. It urged Iran to refrain from any “unilateral action” and to cooperate with Pakistan in combating terrorism.

Iran, however, condemned the Pakistani air strikes as a “flagrant aggression” and a “violation of international law”. Iran’s foreign ministry summoned the Pakistani ambassador in Tehran and lodged a strong protest over the incident. It also warned Pakistan of “serious consequences” for its “irresponsible and provocative” behavior.

Iran claimed that the Pakistani air strikes targeted civilian areas and infrastructure, and caused “heavy casualties and damages”. It also denied any involvement of the Baloch separatist groups in the attacks on Pakistan, and accused Pakistan of supporting and sheltering them. It said that Iran had the right to defend itself and its national security against any threat.

The Baloch separatist groups, namely the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) and the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), also confirmed that they were attacked by the Pakistani air force, and vowed to continue their struggle for independence from Pakistan. They said that they had no links with the Sunni militant group that Iran targeted, known as Jaish al-Adl, and that they were fighting for the rights and freedom of the Baloch people.

The escalation of tensions between Pakistan and Iran comes amid a fragile security situation in the region, where both countries share a long and porous border. The border area has been a hotbed of violence and instability, with frequent clashes and attacks involving various armed groups, such as the Taliban, the Islamic State, and the Baloch separatists.

Both Pakistan and Iran have accused each other of supporting and harboring terrorists, and have called for more cooperation and dialogue to resolve their differences. However, the recent cross-border strikes have raised fears of a wider conflict and a humanitarian crisis in the region.

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