Pakistan Strikes Terrorist Hideouts in Iran's Sistan-Baluchistan Province in Retaliation for Violated Airspace
Islamabad, Thursday, January 18, 2024
In a swift and targeted operation, Pakistan's military struck terrorist hideouts in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan province on Thursday morning, less than 48 hours after Iran violated its airspace. The operation, codenamed 'Marg Bar Sarmachar' (Death to Terrorists), focused on hideouts used by terrorist organizations, namely the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), according to a statement issued by the military's media affairs wing.
The move comes as a response to Iran's Tuesday attacks in Pakistan, targeting what it described as bases for the militant group Jaish al-Adl in the border town of Panjgur in Balochistan. The Iranian strikes led to a strong condemnation from Islamabad and a subsequent downgrade of diplomatic ties.
The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) highlighted the precision of the military strikes, involving killer drones, rockets, loitering munitions, and stand-off weapons. The operation aimed to eliminate hideouts inside Iran used by terrorists responsible for recent attacks in Pakistan.
According to the ISPR, the targeted hideouts successfully struck in the operation were being used by notorious terrorists, including Dosta alias Chairman, Bajjar alias Soghat, Sahil alias Shafaq, Asghar alias Basham, and Wazir alias Wazi.
The Iranian side reported that nine people were killed in the attack on a village in the city of Saravan. Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi stated that all the deceased were foreign nationals. Iran had launched attacks in response to recent terrorist attacks on its territory, conducting a series of strikes in Syria and Iraq.
The situation has raised concerns about regional stability, particularly amid ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. The Pakistani Foreign Office announced the precision military strikes shortly before the ISPR statement, emphasizing the use of "effective strikes" to neutralize terrorist hideouts in Iran.
The ISPR underscored Pakistan's commitment to ensuring the safety of its citizens against acts of terrorism, with a perpetual state of readiness maintained by the Armed Forces. The statement reaffirmed the determination to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan against any misadventure, emphasizing the resolve to defeat all enemies with the support of the Pakistani people.
Despite the military actions, the ISPR added a note of diplomacy, stating that "dialogue and cooperation" were deemed prudent in resolving bilateral issues between the two brotherly countries. The situation between Pakistan and Iran remains tense, with the international community closely monitoring developments in the region.