Pakistan said Wednesday that it launched an airstrike within Iran just a day after Iran hit targets within Pakistan. The exchange of fire came as each nation claimed that it was targeting rebel groups operating on each others’ soil.
Pakistan’s military described its actions as a “series of highly coordinated and specifically targeted precision military strikes.” The South Asian nation’s military also claimed that the attacks killed a number of separatists Pakistan describes as ‘terrorists.’ Pakistan believes that Iran offers safe haven to the separatists.
“This action is a manifestation of Pakistan’s unflinching resolve to protect and defend its national security against all threats,” said a statement from Pakistan’s military. “The successful execution of this highly complex operation is also a testimony to the professionalism of the Pakistan Armed Forces. Pakistan will continue to take all necessary steps to preserve the safety and security of its people which is sacrosanct, inviolable and sacred.”
The Pakistani attack occurred following a warning to Iran. Iran used ballistic missiles to strike targets within Pakistan, which has nuclear weapons. Pakistan claimed that the Iranian strike killed two children.
Initial reports indicated that Pakistan may have struck a location operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, which is designated as a terrorist organization by Washington. However, the Pakistani military stated that it instead hit a separatist group.
The governor of the province the attacks took place in claimed that at least three women and four children were killed in the strike.
The Deputy Governor General in the Sistan and Baluchestan Provence of Eastern Iran is claiming that 3 Non-Iranian Women and 4 Children were Killed in tonight’s Missile and Airstrikes conducted by the Pakistani Armed Forces near the City of Saravan.
— OSINTdefender (@sentdefender) January 18, 2024
Both Iran and Pakistan claimed that they were targeting Balochi rebels. The ethnic group inhabits parts of each country and desire independence.
Iran has struck several countries in air attacks this week. The Revolutionary Guards claimed responsibility for attacks in Syria and Iraq. In Syria, Iran claimed that it was striking an ISIS base.
The attack in Iraq hit near the American consulate in the northern city of Erbil, killing a civilian family. Furthermore, Iran claimed after the airstrike that it was targeting Israeli intelligence operating out of Iraq.
Iraq protested the strike to the United Nations, calling it a violation of its sovereignty.