Iran, Pakistan On Brink Of Military Conflict Following Missile Strike - China Urges Calm

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Jan 18, 2024 - 01:25 AM

Iran's Tuesday missile and drone strikes targeting Sunni jihadists in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province have as expected unleashed a diplomatic war between Tehran and Islamabad.

Pakistan started its response by recalling its ambassador from the Iranian capital Wednesday, while also booting the Iranian ambassador from Pakistan. Pakistani officials say that two children were killed in what Iran said was a response to the January 3rd suicide bombings of Kerman city, which killed over 100 people.

Illustrative via Fars News

"Last night's unprovoked and blatant breach of Pakistan's sovereignty by Iran is a violation of international law and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations," Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mumtaz Zahra Baloch has stated. "It is even more concerning that this illegal act has taken place despite the existence of several channels of communication between Pakistan and Iran."

"Pakistan reserves the right to respond to this illegal act. The responsibility for the consequences will lie squarely with Iran," the spokeswoman added. "We have conveyed this message to the Iranian Government. We have also informed them that Pakistan has decided to recall its ambassador from Iran and that the Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan who is currently visiting Iran may not return for the time being."

Iranian state media has said the attack destroyed two sites belonging to the terrorist organization Jaish al-Adl. It is a region that Tehran authorities have long viewed as a hotbed of terrorism and the source of frequent cross-border attacks

Authorities in Balochistan province told CNN two girls had died and at least four people were injured. The girls, aged eight and 12, were killed in houses that were damaged in the attack in the village of Koh-e-Sabz in Kulag, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Panjgur district, on Tuesday evening, according to the district’s deputy commissioner Mumtaz Khetran. Khetran also said a mosque near the homes was targeted and hit in the strikes.

Koh-e-Sabz — about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Pakistan’s border with Iran — is known to be the home of Jaish al-Adl’s former second-in-command Mullah Hashim, who was killed in clashes with Iranian forces in Sarawan, an Iranian region adjacent to Panjgur, in 2018.

Interestingly, China has intervened diplomatically, urging both sides to react with calm and restraint. The Chinese Foreign Ministry Wednesday urged for both sides to "avoid actions that would lead to an escalation of tension and work together to maintain peace and stability in the region."

Map source: BBC

To review of fast-moving events Wednesday, according to a regional correspondent:

  • Pakistan recalls ambassador in Tehran, kicks out Iran ambassador
  • Iranian reports on border clashes
  • IRGC commander killed 
  • China mediation failed: local media 
  • Unconfirmed reports that border shut 
  • Saudi mediating 
  • India statement backs Iran

The United States was among those countries that condemned Iran's attack which was deep into Pakistani territory. The situation remains dangerous also because Pakistan is a nuclear power.