Nine killed in Pakistan’s retaliatory strike on Iran

Pakistan Air Force JF-17 Thunder.

The death toll in the morning air strikes conducted by Pakistan on Iraq reported by state media has risen to nine. Earlier, Iran stated that three women and four children were among the casualties, while Pakistan described those killed as a “number of terrorists.”

Earlier in the day, Pakistan said it launched “highly coordinated” military strikes against Iran, just over 24 hours after Iranian air strikes in Balochistan. This has escalated tensions between the two neighbours, raising concerns about a potential wider conflict.

On Thursday morning, Pakistan carried out an “intelligence-based operation” against hideouts of armed groups in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province, as stated by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“A number of terrorists were killed during the Intelligence-based operation – codenamed ‘Marg Bar Sarmachar,” said a statement from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan.

“Over the last several years, in our engagements with Iran, Pakistan has consistently shared its serious concerns about the safe havens and sanctuaries enjoyed by Pakistani origin terrorists calling themselves Sarmachars on the ungoverned spaces inside Iran. Pakistan also shared multiple dossiers with concrete evidence of the presence and activities of these terrorists.”

However, because of lack of action on our serious concerns, these so-called Sarmachars continued to spill the blood of innocent Pakistanis with impunity. This morning’s action was taken in light of credible intelligence of impending large scale terrorist activities by these so called Sarmachars, the statement said

“This action is a manifestation of Pakistan’s unflinching resolve to protect and defend its national security against all threats. 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,” it said.

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