Pakistan conducted air strikes inside Iran on Thursday, targeting separatist Baloch militants, according to a statement from the Pakistani foreign ministry.
This action comes just two days after Tehran said it launched missile attacks on militant bases in southwestern Pakistan.
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan reportedly carried out retaliatory air strikes using Chinese-built fighter jets JF-17 ‘Thunder’ and J-10CE ’Vigorous Dragon’ early Thursday. The operation, named ‘Marg Bar Sarmachar,’ loosely translates to “death to the guerrilla fighters,” and involved the deployment of Chinese Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Wing Loong II.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry described it as a series of highly coordinated and specifically targeted precision military strikes against terrorist hideouts, resulting in the elimination of a number of terrorists.
However, Iranian media reported that several missiles hit a village in the Sistan-Baluchestan province, bordering Pakistan, resulting in at least nine casualties. Earlier reports indicated that three women and four children, all non-Iranians, were among the casualties.
The longstanding rocky ties between the two neighbors have now manifested in the highest-profile cross-border intrusions in recent years. This development raises concerns about regional stability, particularly amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas since October 7. The situation on the Pakistan-Iran border adds a new layer of complexity to the already tense geopolitical landscape in the Middle East.