What US, China, India Said On Iran-Pak Airstrikes

Who Stands Where: What US, China, India Said On Iran-Pak Airstrikes

Nine people, including six children, have reportedly died in the Iran-Pak airstrikes.

New Delhi:

At least 11 people have been killed after Iran and Pakistan traded airstrikes this week, signalling a worrying escalation of tension and armed conflict in a Middle East already wracked by violence and bloodshed, after Israel’s war on Gaza and attacks by Tehran-backed Houthi militia – who claim to be acting in solidarity with the Palestinians besieged by Tel Aviv – on commercial ships in the Red Sea.

Nine deaths, including those of four children, were reported from Iran Thursday and two, both children, from Pakistan the day before, after each nation said it had struck “terror groups”. Tehran said it targeted camps run by “terrorist group” Jaish al-Adl, and Islamabad said it had attacked Pakistani-origin terror groups in Baluchistan province along the shared border between the nations.

READ | Pakistan Retaliates With Strikes On “Militant Targets” In Iran, 7 Killed

Apart from its strike on Pakistan, Iran also unleased missile-and-drone attacks on neighbouring Iraq and Syria, drawing sharp remarks by the United States, which conducted a fourth round of strikes of its own against Houthi targets in Yemen. Pentagon officials indicated Wednesday night that Houthi missile stocks – that could have been used to target shipping routes in the Red Sea – were destroyed.

NDTV Explains | What Is The Jaish Al-Adl, Target Of Iran’s Attack In Pakistan

China and India also released statements on the flurry of airstrikes by Iran, with Beijing calling for “restraint” from both sides and New Delhi distancing itself from “a matter between Iran and Pakistan”. The Indian Foreign Ministry also said it “understand(s) actions countries take in self-defence”.

What Have Iran, Pakistan Said?

After this morning’s strikes, Islamabad said “specifically targeted precision military strikes against terrorist hideouts” – an op codenamed ‘Marg Bar Samachar‘ – killed a “number of terrorists”.

Explaining its actions, Islamabad said it had previously “consistently shared its serious concerns about safe havens and sanctuaries enjoyed by Pak-origin terrorists… in ungoverned spaces inside Iran”.

READ | “Sole Objective Of Today’s Act Was…”: Pak After Air Strikes On Iran

“However, because of a lack of action… these (terrorists) continue to spill the blood of innocent Pakistanis with impunity,” it said, adding, “… in light of credible intelligence of impending attack”.

READ | Pak Expels Iran Ambassador After Air Strike, Recalls Envoy From Tehran

On Wednesday Pakistan recalled its top diplomat from Iran, and expelled Tehran’s counterpart.

The Iranian Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahiah, speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, said yesterday his country had targeted an “Iranian terrorist group”, and that “none of the nationals of the friendly and brotherly country of Pakistan were targeted…”

READ | “Targeted Terror Group, Not Pak Nationals,” Iran Reacts To Big Claim

Both sides have exchanged affirmations of “brotherly” friendship, leaving some hope on the table that this conflict, at least, can be resolved swiftly and without any further bloodshed.

What Have The US, China, And India Said?

The US’ State Department has criticised Iran for violating the sovereign borders of three nations in 48 hours. Washington is currently leading strikes against Houthi militants in the Red Sea region, who are widely seen as backed by Tehran and who have been designated “global terrorists” by the US.

“I think it is a little rich… on one hand Iran (is) the leading funder of terrorism in the region, and, on the other hand, (it claims) it needs to take these actions to counter terrorism,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.

READ | “Exercise Restraint”: China Tells Iran, Pak After Air Strike In Balochistan

Beijing has taken a more neutral position. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters, “We call on the two sides to avoid actions that escalate tension, and jointly keep the region peaceful.”

China is, perhaps, in a difficult position at this junction, given its close ties to Pakistan and the fact it imports a significant amount of oil from Iran.

New Delhi, meanwhile, has underlined its “zero tolerance” stance towards terrorism, but has also said it understands “actions that countries take in their self-defence”.

READ | “We Understand Actions In Self Defence”: India On Iran Strikes In Pak

“This is a matter between Iran and Pakistan. Insofar as India is concerned, we have an uncompromising zero tolerance towards terrorism. We understand actions that countries take in their self-defence,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal told a press briefing.

With input from agencies

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