Pakistan condemns deadly impact of Iranian missile on its territory at a time of maximum tension in the region

(CNN) — Pakistan has strongly condemned the Iranian airstrike within its territory that killed two children, calling it an “unprovoked violation of its airspace” and warned of retaliatory action.

Iran claimed it carried out “precision strikes” to destroy two strongholds of the Sunni militant group Jaish al-Adl, known as Jaish al-Dhulm in Iran, in the Koh-e-Sabz region of Pakistan’s Balochistan province. Missiles and drone attacks have been used. According to Tasnim news agency, belonging to the Iranian state.

Tuesday’s attack came after Iran fired missiles into northern Iraq and Syria on Monday, the latest escalation of hostilities in the Middle East, where Israel’s ongoing war in Gaza threatens to escalate into a regional conflict.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said “two innocent children” were killed in the attack on its territory and warned Iran of facing “serious consequences”.

He described the airstrike as “an unprovoked violation by Iran of its airspace within Pakistani territory.”

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

Pakistan on Wednesday recalled its ambassador from Iran and suspended all high-level Iranian visits.

“The unprovoked and blatant violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty by Iran last night is a violation of international law and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter,” Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mumtaz Baloch said in a televised speech.

He said the Iranian ambassador to Pakistan should not return from a visit to Iran and warned: “Pakistan reserves the right to respond to this illegal act.”

China urged Iran and Pakistan to exercise restraint in the ongoing conflict following the deadly attack. The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday called on both countries to “refrain from actions that escalate tensions and work together to maintain peace and stability in the region.”

Late Tuesday night, the Jaysh al-Adl terrorist group claimed that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards had used six attack drones and several rockets to destroy two houses where the daughters and wives of its fighters lived.

Officials in Baluchistan province told CNN that two girls were killed and at least four people were injured. The girls, aged eight and 12, died in houses damaged in the attack on Tuesday night in Koh-e-Sabz village of Kulag, about 60 km from Panjgur district, according to district Deputy Commissioner Mumtaz Khetran. ,

Khetran also said that a mosque near the houses was targeted.

Koh-e-Sabz – about 50 kilometers from Pakistan’s border with Iran – is believed to be the home of Jaish-ul-Adal’s former second-in-command, Mullah Hashim, an Iranian, in Sarawak. Was killed in conflict with forces. Areas adjacent to Panjgur in 2018.

According to Tasnim, last month Iran accused Jaish al-Adl militants of attacking a police station in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchistan province, resulting in the death of 11 Iranian police officers.

Jaysh al-Adl, or Army of Justice, is a separatist terrorist group that operates on both sides of the border and has previously claimed responsibility for attacks against Iranian targets. Its stated goal is the independence of the Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchistan.

Iran claimed on Wednesday that it “only attacked Iranian terrorists on Pakistani soil” and that “no civilians of friendly country Pakistan were targeted” in the strike.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in a statement, “We respect Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. But we do not allow our national security to be compromised or compromised and when it comes to our national interests we No objection.” Speech delivered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The attacks in Pakistan came a day after Iran’s Revolutionary Guard fired ballistic missiles at the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad’s spy base in Erbil, northern Iraq, and “anti-Iran terrorist groups” in Syria.

Iran said the attacks in Iraq were in response to Israeli attacks that killed an Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander, and claimed that targets in Syria were involved in the recent twin bombings that killed and injured dozens in the city of Kerman. Have become. A memorial for slain Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani.

Iran defended the attacks as a “precise and targeted” operation to prevent security threats, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said in a statement on Tuesday.

Iran’s attacks have raised fears that Israel’s war in Gaza will become a full-scale war in the Middle East, with serious humanitarian, political and economic consequences.

The attacks in Iraq and Syria were condemned by the United States as “reckless” and wrong, while the United Nations said “security concerns should be addressed not through attacks, but through dialogue.”

Iraq said it filed a complaint with the United Nations Security Council and the UN on Tuesday. Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said there were no Mossad-affiliated centers operating in Erbil, in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.

However, speaking to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in Davos, Iran’s foreign minister reiterated the country’s claim that the attack on Iraq was a reaction “against Mossad elements and agents”, and said that Iran is “with both Iraq and Pakistan”. Maintains very good relations.

“We have spoken and agreed many times on the need to fight terrorism,” he said, adding that the actions taken by Iran were “directed against Israel, which remains our common enemy.” ”And the country will respond to this. Any attack. “Strong”.

Concern about increasing war

Israel’s sustained bombardment of Gaza in response to Hamas terrorist attacks on October 7 has killed more than 24,000 people and caused widespread devastation, with civilians living with the threat of imminent death, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. Be it through air strikes. Starvation, or disease.

The conflict has escalated hostilities across the region, with Iran’s allies and proxies – the so-called axis of resistance – launching attacks against Israeli forces and their allies.

On Tuesday, US forces launched new strikes on Houthi positions inside Yemen, targeting anti-ship ballistic missiles controlled by the Iran-backed rebel group, a defense official told CNN.

Hours later, the Houthis launched a missile against international shipping lanes in the southern Red Sea, hitting the Maltese-flagged bulk carrier M/V Zographia, the official said.

The strikes are at least the third round that US forces have launched against Houthi infrastructure since last Thursday, when the Americans and British launched a joint operation that targeted command and control nodes and weapons depots used by the Houthis. Was targeted. The Houthis launched missile and drone attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea.

US troops in Iraq and Syria have also repeatedly been the targets of rocket and drone attacks by Tehran’s proxies. Last week, the United States carried out strikes in Baghdad that killed a leader of an Iran-backed proxy group, which Washington blames for attacks on US personnel in the region.

And fighting has intensified between Israel and the powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah group along the Lebanese border. On Sunday, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah vowed to continue fighting Israeli forces along the Lebanese border until an end to the Israeli offensive in Gaza.

CNN’s Wayne Chang and Sophia Safdie contributed to this report.

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