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Iran-Pakistan airstrike: China, India, United States react
Photo courtesy: Screenshot grab from X video

Iran-Pakistan airstrike: China, India, United States react

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 18 Jan 2024, 05:38 pm

After 11 people were killed in missile strikes between Iran and Pakistan, indicating an escalation of tension and armed conflict in the Middle East already hit by bloodshed and destruction, China, India and the United States have issued statements.

China and India issued statements regarding the series of airstrikes conducted by Iran. Beijing urged "restraint" from both parties, while New Delhi distanced itself, considering it as "a matter between Iran and Pakistan." The Indian Foreign Ministry also said it "understand(s) actions countries take in self-defence".

The US State Department censured Iran for breaching the sovereign borders of three nations within a 48-hour period. Currently, Washington is leading strikes against Houthi militants in the Red Sea region, perceived to be supported by Tehran and labelled as "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, media reported.

Taking a more neutral stance, China’s 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 finds itself in a challenging position at this juncture, given its strong ties with Pakistan and its substantial reliance on oil imports from Iran.

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

"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.

What happened so far

Seven non-Iranian nationals, including three women and four children, were killed on Thursday in Pakistan's missile strikes in a border village in the Iranian southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan, Alireza Marhamati, the deputy governor for security and law enforcement of the province, said.

The Pakistani Foreign Ministry said earlier on Thursday morning that its military has carried out a series of precision strikes against "terrorist hideouts" inside Iran, which killed a number of "terrorists."

"Sound of several explosions were heard around 4:30 am [local time, 01:00 GMT] today ... one of our border villages was hit by a Pakistani missile attack...

"Three women and four children, who were non-Iranian nationals, were killed in the incident," Iranian news agency Fars quoted Marhamati as saying.

Marhamati added that another explosion was heard near the city of Saravan in the Sistan and Baluchestan province, but there were no casualties.

Iran on Tuesday claimed it conducted missile and drone attacks that destroyed two strongholds of the Sunni Balochi terror group Jaish al-Adl in the border town of Panjgur in Balochistan.

"Two key strongholds of the Jaysh al-Dhulm (Jaysh al-Adl) terrorist group in Pakistan have been obliterated through precision missile and drone strikes," reported Iran's Tasnim News Agency.

Iran's action was in response to the terror group's alleged attack at a police station in Sistan and Balochistan province’s city of Rask, southeast of Iran, which resulted in the death of 11 Iranian Police forces.

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