Iran-Pakistan Conflict Intensifies Rising Hostilities: Global Alarm
The recent tensions between Iran and Pakistan have been fueled by a series of military strikes and counterattacks. Iran conducted an airstrike in southwest Pakistan, targeting what it claimed were militant positions associated with the Jaish al-Adl group. Tehran accused this group of having links to the Islamic State and playing a role in the January 3 bombing in Kerman.
In response, Pakistan swiftly carried out a retaliatory airstrike, targeting separatist militants supporting an insurgency in its Baluchistan province. This exchange of airstrikes marks a significant escalation, as it is the first time Pakistan has conducted an airstrike on Iranian soil since the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88.
The trigger for this recent flare-up was the January 3 bombing in Kerman, where nearly 100 people were killed during a ceremony commemorating slain Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani. The Iranian government vowed revenge against the Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the bombing.
The situation remains tense, with both countries urged by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to exercise maximum restraint and address their security concerns through peaceful means, dialogue, and cooperation. The remote borderlands where the airstrikes occurred have been prone to attacks by separatist groups and Islamist militants, with both Iran and Pakistan often accusing each other of complicity in the violence.
The Iranian strike on Pakistan is seen by analysts as a response to domestic pressure on Iran’s leadership to address the threat of militant violence within its borders. The January 3 bombing exposed vulnerabilities in Iran’s security apparatus, prompting a demonstration of the country’s security forces’ capabilities and a warning against perceived threats to national security.