Iraq and Pakistan have both recalled their Iranian ambassadors following airstrikes in their countries. Iran fired missiles at what it claimed was a Mossad headquarters in the north of Iraq, killing four people. Similarly, it launched an attack in Pakistan, killing two children.
Iraqi officials denied any link to the Israeli foreign intelligence agency Mossad and said the area hit by Iran did not contain their headquarters. Iraqi National Adviser Qasim al-Araji tweeted that he and his team had “inspected on the ground” and “it became clear that the allegations about targeting a Mossad headquarters were unfounded.”
Iraq later filed formal complaints with the United Nations, calling Iran’s aggression a “blatant violation” of Iraqi sovereignty.
In Islamabad, Pakistan, officials said two children died and three other people were injured in Iran’s attack and expelled Tehran’s envoy, blocking their return. Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the attacks targeted Jaish al-Adl, which it described as a terrorist group. Islamabad, however, said the attack was illegal and warned of “serious consequences.”
The United States and China have both called on nuclear-armed Pakistan to exercise restraint. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on all countries involved to “a further escalation of tensions” and to address security issues “by peaceful means, through dialogue and cooperation.”
Tensions in the region and among Islamic nations have exacerbated since the terrorist attack on Israel on October 7 last year, and the attack on Pakistan is seen as a dramatic escalation. Pakistani Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar led a meeting of military and intelligence chiefs on January 19 to discuss a response to the crisis which comes just weeks before elections there.
Meanwhile, US forces have launched another attack on Houthi rebels in the Red Sea while President Biden admits that previous strikes have not stopped the terror group targeting ships in the region. “Are they stopping the Houthis? No. Are they going to continue? Yes,” the President said.