Iran attacks ‘Sunni terrorist targets’ in Pakistan, raising fears of regional unrest

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards carried out a daring attack on terrorist hideouts in Pakistan’s Balochistan province on Tuesday, escalating tensions in the already tense region.

The attack, of unprecedented nature, involved missiles and drones targeting the Sunni terrorist group Jaish al-Adl. However, the offensive resulted in tragic collateral damage, with two children killed and three others injured. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry condemned the attack as an “unprovoked violation” of its sovereignty, indicating serious consequences and a breach in bilateral trust.

Why did Iran target ‘Sunni terrorist bases’ in Pakistan?

Targeted attack: Iran launched a deliberate missile attack on two main bases of Jaish al-Adl in Pakistan, Iranian state media reported. The action followed missile attacks on targets in Iraq and Syria by elite Revolutionary Guards.

Strategic demolition: According to a statement from Iran’s semi-official Tasnim, “two major strongholds of the Jaish al-Dhulm (Jaish al-Adl) terrorist group in Pakistan” were the focus of this operation and were “specifically targeted and successfully demolished.” It has been done”. News agency.

Militant group in focus: Jaish al-Adl, also known as the “Army of Justice”, is a Sunni militant group established in 2012, which has a significant presence in Pakistan. While Iran has previously engaged with the group in border areas, the recent missile and drone attack on Pakistani soil marks a new and aggressive approach in their confrontation.

Retaliation: The attack comes in the wake of last month’s deadly attack on an Iranian police station in the south-eastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan. The incident, which resulted in the deaths of at least 11 Iranian police officers, was attributed to Jaysh al-Adl by Iranian Interior Minister Ahmed Vahidi. He alleged that the terrorists had launched the attack from Pakistan near Panjgur, indicating a possible motive behind Iran’s recent military actions.

What are they saying

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said it called on the Iranian charge d’affaires to lodge a “strong protest” and said such unilateral acts are not in line with good neighborly relations and could seriously undermine bilateral trust and confidence. Are.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said, “It is even more worrying that this illegal act took place despite the existence of multiple channels of communication between Pakistan and Iran.”

“Pakistan has always maintained that terrorism is a common threat to all countries in the region that requires coordinated action. Such unilateral acts are not consistent with good neighborly relations and can seriously undermine bilateral trust and confidence Are.”

Pakistan also expressed concern that the “illegal act” took place despite the existence of several established channels of communication between the two countries, and reaffirmed its commitment to combat terrorism in the region.

Iran’s state media provided no details or evidence of the attacks and some reports soon disappeared from their websites. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdullahian met Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakkar on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday, but there was no official statement on their talks.

Iran and Pakistan share a 959-kilometre (596 mi) border, mostly in the restive province of Sistan-Baluchestan, where Iran’s Sunni minority lives and faces discrimination and repression from the Shia-dominated regime.

Iran has accused Pakistan of harboring and supporting terrorist groups carrying out cross-border attacks, and has in the past threatened to launch attacks inside Pakistan. Pakistan has denied the allegations and urged Iran to respect its territorial integrity.

There have also been differences between the two countries regarding their regional rivalries and alliances. However, they have also tried to maintain some cooperation and dialogue on issues such as trade, energy and security.
why it matters

The attack by Iran inside nuclear-armed Pakistan threatens relations between the two countries, which have long been wary of each other while maintaining diplomatic ties. This increases the risk of further tension and instability in a region already affected by Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Regional dynamics: This strike isn’t in isolation. It follows Iran’s aggressive posturing in Iraq and Syria, targeting what it perceives as adversarial entities. This pattern of attacks signals Tehran’s broader strategy in the region, responding to threats and projecting power, even at the risk of regional destabilization.

Geopolitical chessboard: These dynamics reflect the region’s fragile balance, where geopolitical rivalries, internal strife, and the fight against militancy create a volatile mix, ready to ignite at the slightest provocation.

Wider implications

The US and its allies’ retaliation against Houthi attacks, Iran’s aggressive moves in Iraq, Syria, and now Pakistan, collectively indicate a disturbing trend. The international community is watching closely as the Biden administration considers designating the Houthis as global terrorists, reflecting the seriousness of the situation.

Despite counter-attacks by the US and allies, the Houthis have continued their maritime attacks, signaling a potential escalation in the broader regional conflict.

Amid these tumultuous events, the Biden administration is considering re-designating the Houthis as global terrorists. This move, coupled with ongoing U.S. diplomatic and military efforts, underscores the growing international concern over the growing scope of these conflicts and the urgent need for a strategic and coordinated response to prevent a full-scale regional war.