In a dramatic escalation of tensions, Islamabad has launched airstrikes on Baluch separatist camps inside Iran, a day after Iranian airstrikes targeted two bases of the Jaish al-Adl terrorist group within Pakistani territory.
The Pakistan Air Force carried out these retaliatory strikes, confirming its action against “military hideouts” in the Siestan-O-Baluchistan province of Iran.
In an official statement, Pakistan reiterated its commitment to respecting Iran’s sovereignty and territorial integrity while underscoring the intelligence-based operation’s success, codenamed “Marg Bar Sarmachar.” The statement detailed Pakistan’s longstanding concerns about safe havens for Pakistani-origin terrorists within Iran, known as “Sarmachars,” in ungoverned spaces. Multiple dossiers with concrete evidence were shared with Iran over the years.
The morning’s military action was prompted by credible intelligence indicating an imminent large-scale terrorist threat from these so-called Sarmachars. Pakistan’s commitment to national security was emphasized, describing the operation as a manifestation of its unwavering resolve. The successful execution of this complex mission highlighted the professionalism of the Pakistan Armed Forces, and further steps were pledged to safeguard the safety and security of the nation.
Preliminary footages after Pakistani strikes on IRAN. pic.twitter.com/6DUxNuEcQc
— The Pakistan Daily (@ThePakDaily) January 18, 2024
As of now, there has been no immediate acknowledgment from Iranian authorities regarding the Pakistani airstrikes. The Pakistani Army’s response came after Iran claimed to have targeted the Jaish al-Adl terrorist headquarters in Balochistan, resulting in casualties.
Reports indicate that several explosions were heard in Iran’s southeastern region on Thursday, following the Pakistani airstrikes. The situation remains tense, with Pakistan denouncing the “unprovoked and blatant breach of its sovereignty” by Iran. This diplomatic fallout led to the recall of the Pakistani ambassador from Iran and the blocking of Tehran’s envoy from returning to Pakistan.
The longstanding accusations between Tehran and Islamabad regarding the harboring of militants on each other’s soil have taken a serious turn, as official forces from both sides are directly engaged in military actions—an unusual and concerning development in the region.
The situation is evolving rapidly, and international observers are closely monitoring the developments in this volatile border region.