Iran launched attacks in Pakistan on January 16, targeting what it claimed were bases belonging to the Jaish al-Adl militant group, the Associated Press reported.
Pakistani officials blasted the attacks as an “unprovoked violation” of Pakistani airspace and said the strikes killed two children and injured three others.
Iran’s state-run news agency IRNA said both drones and missiles were used in the airstrikes in the mountains of the Baluchistan province of Pakistan. According to the English version of Iranian state television, Press TV, the attacks were carried out by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
Jaish al-Adl is a Sunni militant group that operates largely over the border in Pakistan. The anti-Iran militants have claimed responsibility for multiple bombings and have kidnapped Iranian border guards in the past.
While Iran has battled the militant group in border areas before, it has never launched a direct drone and missile attack on Pakistan.
Following the strikes, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement strongly condemning the attacks, which it described as an “unprovoked violation of its airspace by Iran.”
The Foreign Ministry warned that Iran’s violation of Pakistani sovereignty would have “serious consequences.”
The following day, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mumtaz Zahra Baloch announced that Pakistan would recall its ambassador to Iran in protest of the airstrikes, which she described as a “violation of international law” and the “charter of the United Nations.
Baloch also said that Islamabad instructed Iran’s ambassador to Pakistan, who was visiting Tehran at the time, not to return.
In response, Iran’s Defense Minister Gen. Mohammad Reza Ashtiani said Tehran would “show reaction” to any threats against Iran “from any region,” warning that Iran’s reaction would be “harsh and strong.”
Jaish al-Adl claimed that the six attacks struck the homes where the wives and children of the militants were housed.
Pakistani intelligence later confirmed that the two children were a girl of 6 and an 11-month-old baby boy. The three injured were women between the ages of 25 and 35.