On January 18, 2024, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) launched air strikes on Baloch separatist camps situated inside the Iranian territory, according to multiple media reports citing people aware of the developments. The reports state that the targeted locations allegedly housed hideouts of Baloch militants who were wanted in Pakistan.
Several missiles launched from Pakistan ‘s direction hit border villages in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchistan province, a security official from the province said on January 18, 2024, according to the semi-official young journalist club news agency. The official added that at least three women and four children have been killed in one of the explosions specifying that no Iranian people were killed. These hideouts belonged to the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and Baluchistan Liberation Front (BLF) and the entire operation was called and codenamed “Marg Bar Sarmachar”
Foreign Ministry Statement
“This morning Pakistan undertook a series of highly coordinated and specifically targeted precision military strikes against terrorists’ hideouts in Sistan-Baluchistan province a foreign ministry statement said adding that a number of terrorists were also killed. Iran is a brotherly country and the people of Pakistan have great respect and affection for Iranian people,” the foreign ministry statement added.
Iranian Missile Attack
On January 16, 2024, Iran had launched missile attacks and drone airstrike on the terrorist camps of Jaish-e-Adl, a Sunni Baloch terrorist group in Baluchistan. An Iranian news agency reported the strike as a retaliation aimed at the terrorist group designated by the Iranian authorities responsible for multiple attacks on its borders.
Officials in Pakistan’s Baluchistan, a province bordering Iran said that four missiles had hit Panjgur District. “Four Missiles were fired in the village of Koh-i-Sabaz (50kms inside Pakistani soil) a senior official of Panjgur District told a media agency. A mosque and three houses were also damaged in the attack and the strike claimed the lives of two young girls and injured three others.
This terrorist group has carried out several attacks on Iranian soil in recent years. The group says it seeks greater rights and better living conditions for ethnic minority Baluchis has claimed responsibility for several attacks in recent years on Iranian forces in Sistan-Baluchistan. In its previous iteration as Jundullah, the group had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS). The United States has also labelled Jaish-e-Adl as terrorist organization saying that the group targets Iranian security personnel, but also kidnaps and kills government officials by suicide bombing.
Baloch Liberation Army
It is a militant group that seeks to create an independent state of Greater Baluchistan. The main Baluchi tribes forming the group are Marri and Bugti Tribes. It was founded in 2000 and it has targeted CPEC officials and Pakistani security personnel. They do so as Pakistanis and the Chinese government have exploited this region heavily other wise full of natural resources and marginalization of the ethnic Balochis freedom, language and culture. It uses mortars, rocket launchers, IEDs, explosives and ambushes as its primary tactics against Pakistani forces.