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Within 40 days of carrying out a targeted missile attack on terrorist groups inside Pakistan, Iran yesterday once again carried out a surgical strike on its neighbour. Iran’s state-run media claimed that the country’s forces killed senior Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice) militant group commander Ismail Shahbakhsh and other terrorists by entering the Pakistan territory. Iran’s forces, in an armed clash, attacked a militant group, one month after the two countries conducted air strikes on each other.

Iran has accused Pakistan of inaction against terrorist groups alleging that these groups carry out terror attacks inside Tehran’s territory.

Iran’s attack is going on in Pakistan! #Pakistan #Iran #Attack #WorldNews | @JournoPranay pic.twitter.com/0Jc8enH7mT — Zee News (@ZeeNews) February 25, 2024

Who Are Jaish al-Adl?

Jaish al-Adl is a Pakistan-based terror group formed in 2012. It has been designated as a ‘terrorist’ organization by Iran. It is a Sunni terrorist group that operates in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan. Iran shares around 900 km of border with Pakistan and is suffering from terrorism just like India due to Pakistan.

Over time, Jaish al-Adl has carried out multiple attacks targeting Iranian security forces. In December, the group claimed responsibility for an assault on a police station in Sistan-Balochistan, resulting in the tragic loss of at least 11 police personnel.

January 16 Missile Attack

Tensions between Iran and Pakistan escalated following mutual missile strikes targeting alleged “terror units.” Iran conducted missile and drone strikes in Pakistan on the night of January 16, targeting two significant headquarters of Jaish al-Adl. Pakistan claimed that the strikes led to the unfortunate death of two children and the injury of three girls. In response, Pakistan withdrew its ambassador from Iran on January 17 and declared that the Iranian envoy, who was visiting Pakistan at the time, would not be allowed to return as a protest against what Islamabad deemed a ‘blatant breach’ of its sovereignty.

The situation further intensified on January 18, when Pakistan launched retaliatory strikes inside Iran. Islamabad stated that the strikes targeted hideouts used by “terrorist militant organizations,” specifically mentioning the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF).

Failed Peace Attempt

After both the countries hit each other, they mutually agreed to expand security cooperation. They agreed on the return of ambassadors of both countries to their respective posts and also decided to mutually work for the ‘de-escalation’ of tensions. Both Iran and Pakistan stated that they can resolve ‘misunderstandings’ fairly quickly. The two countries also agreed to fight terrorism in their respective areas and allay each other’s concerns, he added. However, yesterday’s surgical strike again shows that those were mere rhetoric and Iran doesn’t trust Pakistan on terrorism.