Iraq and Pakistan are both protesting Iranian missile strikes that targeted their territories in recent days as Tehran is defending its attacks.
Iran said the strikes it launched in Pakistan targeted Jaish al-Adl, a Sunni Muslim militant group that operates across the Iran-Pakistan border and has a history of conducting terrorist attacks in Iran. Most recently, the group took responsibility for a December 15 attack on a police station in Iran’s southeastern city of Rask that killed 11.
Islamabad strongly condemned the Iranian strikes in Pakistan and said two children were killed. “Pakistan strongly condemns the unprovoked violation of its airspace by Iran which resulted in death of two innocent children while injuring three girls,” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said.
“This violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty is completely unacceptable and can have serious consequences,” the ministry added. Pakistan, a nuclear-armed state, has also recalled its ambassador to Iran over the strikes.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian defended the strikes on Wednesday while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “None of the nationals of the friendly and brotherly country of Pakistan were targeted by Iranian missiles and drones,” he said. “The so-called Jaish al-Adl group, which is an Iranian terrorist group, was targeted.”
Iran has said that its strikes in Iraq that were launched on Monday targeted alleged Mossad bases in Erbil, part of the northern Kurdistan region, likely in retaliation for Israel killing a senior Iranian military officer in Syria. Israel is known to have intelligence operatives and assets in the area, and US officials have acknowledged Iran struck a Mossad facility in 2022 strikes, but both the Baghdad-based government and the local Kurdish government said the Monday attack killed civilians.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said the Iranian strikes were “clear aggression” against Iraq. According to The Cradle, al-Sudani and the prime minister of the Kurdistan region, Masrour Barzani, canceled planned meetings with Iranian officials in Davos. Iraq also recalled its ambassador to Iran for consultations over the attack.
Iraq has also faced several rounds of US airstrikes since mid-October, when Shia militias began targeting US bases in Iraq and Syria over President Biden’s support for the Israeli slaughter in Gaza. Al-Sudani has strongly condemned the US strikes and says he wants an end to the US military presence in Iraq. The US has also launched airstrikes in Syria and Yemen, and the risk of a major regional war continues to grow.