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Pakistan conducted retaliatory strikes inside Iran, targeting Baloch separatist groups, following Iran’s attacks on targets in Pakistan. The strikes raised tensions between the neighboring countries and sparked fears of a broader conflict.

Background

Pakistan and Iran share a 900-kilometer (560-mile) border, and both countries have long regarded each other with suspicion over militant groups operating in the region. The situation escalated when Iran launched airstrikes on targets in Pakistan on January 16, 2024, in response to attacks by the militant group Jaish al-Adl.

Pakistan’s Response

Pakistan’s foreign ministry confirmed that it had conducted air strikes targeting Baloch separatist groups inside Iran. Several missiles hit a border village, resulting in the deaths of three women and four children, all of whom were non-Irani citizens. Pakistan’s foreign ministry described the operation as “highly coordinated” and stated that “a number of terrorists were killed during the intelligence-based operation”.

Global Reactions

The United States condemned Iran’s attacks on Pakistan and accused Iran of violating the sovereign borders of three of its neighbors. China, a close ally of both Pakistan and Iran, expressed concern over the situation and called for de-escalation.

Potential Consequences

The risk of escalation remained high as Iran’s military was set to begin a planned annual air defense drill, Velayat 1402, which would include live fire from aircraft, drones, and air defense systems. Pakistan’s security analyst Ejaz Haider warned that if the situation was allowed to linger, it had the potential of dragging Pakistan into a larger two-front conflict.

Diplomatic Relations

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry described the Iranian attack as a “blatant violation” of its airspace and demanded an immediate explanation from Iran. Iranian state television, quoting an anonymous official, said Tehran strongly condemned the attack and demanded an explanation from Pakistan.

In conclusion, Pakistan retaliatory strikes inside Iran have further escalated tensions between the two countries and raised concerns about the potential for a broader conflict in the region. Both countries must work towards de-escalation and diplomatic solutions to avoid further escalation.

- A word from our sposor -

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Tensions Rise as Pakistan Responds with Strikes Inside Iran