Pakistan warns Iran of serious consequences after airspace violation kills two children

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has warned Iran of serious consequences after Tehran violated Pakistan’s airspace that took the lives of two Pakistanis and dealt injuries to others, a statement from the Foreign Office said in the wee hours of Wednesday.

“Pakistan strongly condemns the unprovoked violation of its airspace by Iran which resulted in death of two innocent children while injuring three girls,” Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said in a statement.

Iranian state media claimed that it had targeted the bases of a terrorist organisation in Pakistan with drones and missiles and destroyed the headquarters of the said terrorist group.

The Pakistani area targeted is called “Green Mountain”, as per Iranian state media.

The foreign office spokesperson termed this violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty as completely unacceptable and could prompt serious consequences.

Baloch said it is even more concerning that this illegal act has taken place despite the existence of several channels of communication between Pakistan and Iran.

“Pakistan’s strong protest has already been lodged with the concerned senior official in the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran,” the spokesperson noted.

Additionally, she said, the Iranian Charge d’affaires has been called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to convey a strong condemnation of this blatant violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and that the responsibility for the consequences will lie squarely with Iran.

“Pakistan has always said terrorism is a common threat to all countries in the region that requires coordinated action. Such unilateral acts are not in conformity with good neighbourly relations and can seriously undermine bilateral trust and confidence,” the spokesperson added.

Separately, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched missile attacks on multiple “terrorist” targets in Syria and in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, earlier in the day, as per state media.

The attacks destroyed “a spy headquarters” and a “gathering of anti-Iranian terrorist groups” in Arbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, the official IRNA news agency reported, quoting a statement by the IRGC.

Four people were killed and six others wounded in the attack, according to Iraq’s Kurdistan security council.

The United States condemned the attacks as “reckless”, warning they undermine stability.

“We oppose Iran’s reckless missile strikes, which undermine Iraq’s stability,” US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement.

In response, Iraq said it has recalled its ambassador from Tehran for consultations.

Ambassador Nassir Abdel Mohsen was “recalled for consultations in the context of the latest Iranian attacks on (regional capital) Arbil in which there were dead and wounded,” a foreign ministry statement said.

Iraqi National Security Adviser Qassem al-Araji dismissed as “false” Iran’s claim that it hit an Israeli intelligence base in an overnight missile strike in the Kurdish regional capital Arbil.