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Iran Targets Terror Outfit Jaish Al-Adl Inside Pakistan

Iran Targets Terror Outfit Jaish Al-Adl Inside Pakistan
Iran Targets Terror Outfit Jaish Al-Adl Inside Pakistan


Iran launched missiles and drones Tuesday into Pakistan’s Balochistan province, officially stated to be aimed at the Sunni separatist group Jaish al-Adl, or Army of Justice.

Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan has a porous border with Iran’s Sistan and Baluchistan province.

Locals on the Pakistan side of the border say Jaish al-Adl has training camps in Kohe Sabz and the surrounding mountains in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.

Fakhar Hayat Kakakhel, a Pakistan-based researcher and journalist who tracks militant groups’ violence in the region, says, “It’s an anti-Shia outfit that adheres to the Salafi ideology. Jaish al-Adl distributes its messages and propaganda on Telegram channels in the region in Persian and English. The channels operate under different names, including Jaishul Aadal, Al-Furqan and Khorasan Front.”

The Salafi Muslim sect is a separate school of thought within Islamic theology that follows the teachings of the eighth-century Imam Ibn Taymiyyah and his followers. The Salafi school of thought rejects religious innovations and is considered more orthodox than most of the other currents within Muslim religious groups and sects.

Jaish al-Adl is an offshoot of Pakistan-based Jundullah, another group with a history of attacks inside Iran’s southeastern Sistan and Baluchistan province.

Iran substantially weakened Jundullah in 2010 following the execution of its leader, Abdul Malik Regi, after his mysterious arrest.

Jaish al-Adl emerged on the scene about 2012 and has claimed responsibility for scores of deadly attacks targeting Iranian security forces.

The group claimed responsibility for an attack on a police station in December 2023, killing 11 Iranian security personnel in the town of Rask in Sistan and Baluchistan. Following the attack, Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi issued a warning to Pakistan to stop Jaish al-Adl from attacks in Iran.

“Pakistan cannot afford troubles with all neighbors, but the Iranian actions show it has issues with Pakistan,” says Fahim Ullah Khan, a professor at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad.

Iran shares a 900-kilometer border with Pakistan, guarded by security forces on both sides, with rampant smuggling of different goods — especially Iranian petrol and diesel. Most of Pakistan’s fuel comes from the Middle East, but a fair amount of oil is smuggled in across its western border with Iran.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, defended his country’s strike inside Pakistan, saying the target of the cross-border airstrikes on Tuesday night was “Iranian terrorists present on Pakistani soil.”

Jalil Abbas Jilani, Pakistan’s caretaker foreign minister, received a telephone call from Abdollahian Wednesday after Islamabad recalled its ambassador from Tehran following an announcement suspending all high-level engagements with Tehran.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement the attack “was not only a serious breach of Pakistan’s sovereignty but was also an egregious violation of international law and the spirit of bilateral relations between Pakistan and Iran.”

This story originated in VOA’s Deewa Service.


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