China urges restraint as Pakistan accuses Iran of air strike that killed children.

China has called on both Pakistan and Iran to exercise restraint following Pakistan’s claim that Iran carried out an air strike on its territory resulting in the death of two children. The strike, which occurred in Balochistan province, has raised concerns about diplomatic relations between the two neighboring nations. Both Iran and Pakistan have a history of mutual suspicion regarding militant attacks, but both sides appear cautious about escalating tensions.

The incident has the potential to escalate violence in the Middle East, already unsettled by Israel’s conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Iran conducted strikes in Iraq and Syria in response to a claimed suicide bombing by the Islamic State group that resulted in over 90 deaths.

Iran, initially reporting the strike on bases of the militant group Jaish al-Adl, later withdrew the reports without explanation. Jaish al-Adl, seeking an independent Balochistan, acknowledged the assault, stating that the attack targeted homes of their fighters, resulting in the death of two children and injuries to women and a teenage girl.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry strongly protested the violation of its sovereignty, summoning an Iranian diplomat in Islamabad. A senior Pakistani security official, speaking anonymously, mentioned that Iran had provided no prior information about the strike. While Pakistan reserves the right to respond, efforts seem to be made to contain any potential escalation.

Jaish al-Adl, founded in 2012, is believed to operate largely in Pakistan, and Iranian officials suspect that Sunni-majority Pakistan may be hosting insurgents. The incident raises concerns about the stability of the region, given the low-level insurgency by Baloch nationalists in Pakistan’s Balochistan province and Iran’s neighboring Sistan and Baluchistan province.

The attack on Pakistan comes in the wake of Iranian strikes in northern Iraq that resulted in civilian casualties. Iraq has recalled its ambassador from Tehran in protest, adding to the complexities in the region.