Jaish al-Adl: Know About Sunni Militant Group That Became Iran's Missile Attack Target In Pakistan

Jaish al-Adl: Know About Sunni Militant Group That Became Iran's Missile Attack Target In Pakistan

This was Iran's third such attack on a foreign land in less than a day – with the previous two strikes being on Iraq and Syria.

Vishakha SonawaneUpdated: Wednesday, January 17, 2024, 08:33 PM IST
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The diplomatic relation between Iran and Pakistan turned sour after Tehran launched a missile attack at two bases of Sunni militant group Jaish al-Adl on late Tuesday. According to Pakistan, the attack claimed the lives of two children and wounded three others in what it called an "unprovoked" attack.

This was Iran's third such attack on a foreign land in less than a day – with the previous two strikes being on Iraq and Syria. While it was not immediately known why Tehran launched the attack in Pakistan, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Wednesday the strikes only targeted "Iranian terrorist group" Jaish al-Adl.

“None of the nationals of the friendly and brotherly country of Pakistan were targeted by Iranian missiles and drones,” Amir-Abdollahian said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “The so-called Jaish al-Adl group, which is an Iranian terrorist group, was targeted.”

Who are Jaish al-Adl militant group?

Formed in 2012, Jaish al-Adl – or the “Army of Justice” – is a Sunni militant organisation that gained notoriety as a significant security threat in Iran. The group opposes the Iranian government and seeks greater autonomy for the Baluch ethnic group.

Jaish al-Adl mainly operates in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan, which has a significant Sunni population in Shia-dominated Iran. Sistan and Baluchstan shares a porous border with Pakistan and Afghanistan and has been a hotspot for clashes between Iran's security forces and various groups, including Jaish al-Adl.

Designated as a terror group by Iran and the US, Jaish al-Adl has been attributed in numerous attacks on Iranian security forces. Starting August 2012, the group has claimed responsibility in several bombings and kidnappings of the Iranian police. Over the years, the group intensified its attacks in Iran, with the latest assault being in December 2023 on a police station in Rask, Sistan and Baluchistan that lead to the deaths of 11 police officers.

Jaish al-Adl's role in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case

Jaish al-Adl was the militant group that kidnapped Indian citizen Kulbhushan Jadhav in March 2016 and handed him over to Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) in exchange of monetary favours. Following this, Islamabad accused Jadhav of being an ex-Indian Navy officer an a spy operating against Pakistan.

The case hit a new low in diplomatic relations between New Delhi and Islamabad and India approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2017 after Jadhav was handed down death sentence by Pakistan's Field General Court Martial. The ICJ ordered Pakistan to suspend the execution and provide India with consular access.

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