Israel calls Iran ‘empire of evil’; nations urge restraint amid new tensions

9 killed in Pakistan strikes, says Tehran

Pakistan Iran strikes Youth activists of Muslim Talba Mahaz (MTM) holding a banner shout slogans during a protest against Iranian air strike, in Islamabad | AFP

Pakistan military on Thursday said it used weapons including drones, rockets, loitering munitions and stand-off weapons to strike targets in Iran. The strikes were carried out against two leading militant groups, Balochistan Liberation Army and the Balochistan Liberation Front, who were responsible for Pakistan strikes. Amid tensions, other nations including Turkey had called for restraint.

According to a statement by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military's media wing, maximum care was taken to avoid collateral damage. The intelligence-based operation ‘Marg Bar Sarmachar’ resulted in the death of nine people.

Pakistan’s retaliation strikes come after Iranian missiles and drone targeted its two bases of militant group Jaish al Adl on Tuesday.

The targeted hideouts were being used by notorious terrorists including Dosta alias Chairman, Bajjar alias Soghat, Sahil alias Shafaq, Asghar alias Basham and Wazir alias Wazi, amongst others, said Pakistan military.

It asserted that Pakistan Armed Forces remain in a perpetual state of readiness to ensure safety of Pakistan citizens against acts of terrorism.

"Our resolve to ensure that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan is respected and safeguarded against any misadventure, remains unwavering. We reaffirm our determination to defeat all enemies of Pakistan with the support of the people of Pakistan,” the ISPR said.

It also said dialogue and cooperation is required going forward in resolving the bilateral issues between “two brotherly countries”.

Tehran an ‘empire of evil’

On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Israel President Isaac Herzog termed Tehran as an “empire of evil”. While speaking about the Hamas attacks that hit Israel on October 7, Herzog said his country was shattered during the strikes.

He also added that Gaza’s population is entrenched in a network of terror.

With Iran funding proxies all around the region undermines any peace process, Herzog added. With the Iran-backed Houthis attacks intensifying in the Red Sea since the Israel-Hamas war, it has become difficult for the commercial vessels to pass through the route.

Herzog also added that he wanted a better future for the Palestinians, who are “our neighbours”.

Amid the rising tensions, Turkey has recommended that Iran and Pakistan to adopt restraint. Turkey’s foreign minister Hakan Fidan said he spoke with his counterparts from both nations and urged to restore peace and not escalate the situation further.

Taliban foreign ministry also asked both Iran and Pakistan should resolve disputed issues through diplomacy and dialogue.

"We are watching with concern the escalation of the situation in the Iran-Pakistan border area that has been growing in recent days. We call on the parties to exercise maximum restraint and to resolve emerging issues exclusively through political and diplomatic means," Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

While India maintained its stance and said will not be commenting on the Pakistan-Iran matter. India had earlier said that “understands actions countries take in self-defence”. 

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