This week, Iran allegedly carried out a ‘surgical strike’ in Pakistan and rescued its imprisoned men from the region.
In an intelligence operation inside Pakistan, Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) released two of its soldiers, the force said in a statement.
The Quds Base of the IRGC Ground Force in Southeastern Iran said in a statement that two of its border guards were released on Tuesday night during a successful intelligence operation.
“A successful operation was carried out last Tuesday night to rescue two kidnapped border guards who were taken as hostages by Jaish ul-Adl organization two and a half years ago,” the IRGC said in its statement.
The soldiers were successfully transferred back to Iran, according to the statement.
On October 16, 2018, a Pakistan-based radical Wahhabi terrorist organization’ Jaish ul-Adl ‘kidnapped 12 IRGC guards on the border between the two countries in the Pakistani territory in the city of Merkava in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, the Andalou study said.
In order to free the abducted IRCG soldiers, military officials reportedly formed a joint committee between Tehran and Islamabad.
On November 15, 2018, five of the soldiers were released, while the Pakistani army rescued four more Iranian soldiers on March 21, 2019.
Jaish ul-Adl, declared a terrorist group by Tehran, is engaged in an armed struggle against the Iranian government, claiming to protect Baloch Sunnis’ rights in Iran.
History of Jaish ul-Adl
The terrorist group, which carried out cross-border attacks from southwest Pakistan into southeast Iran, also claimed responsibility for the February 2019 assault on Iran’s paramilitary base in Basij, which killed and wounded dozens of IRGC members after the terrorist attack on their bus in the province.
The group has bases in southwestern Pakistan and began operations after recruiting and reorganizing the remnants of Jundullah, a Sunni militant organization based in Iran in Sistan and Baluchestan. Iran had arrested Jundullah’s leaders and, years ago, disbanded the terrorist group.
In the Jakigour region of Sistan and Baluchistan Province, Jaish ul-Adl also abducted five Iranian border guards and brought them to Pakistan in 2014. Four of them were released after two months of kidnapping, while the fifth was killed. Months later, his body was returned to Iran.
Then, early in March 2015, Pakistani sources told the country’s media that the ringleader of the Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group was detained by authorities in Southwest Pakistan while traveling on a bus from the lawless border area.
Salam Rigi, the cousin of Jundallah terrorist group’s ringleader Abdolmalek Rigi, was seized by Pakistani authorities who were tipped off about his movements. The bus he was traveling on was intercepted some 50 km from Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s Baluchistan, a security official said on the condition of anonymity.
Salam Rigi was accused of involvement in suicide bombings in Iran and Pakistan, as well as sending terrorists to the conflicts in Iraq and Syria.
Other sources said the terrorist arrested was Abdo-Sattar Rigi (Abdolmalek’s brother), explaining that he was carrying his cousin’s ID card at the time of arrest, but further investigations revealed his true identity.
Salam Rigi has been charged with participation in suicide bombings in Iran and Pakistan, as well as with the sending of militants to the Iraq and Syria conflicts.
Other sources said Abdo-Sattar Rigi (Abdolmalek’s brother) was the terrorist arrested, explaining that at the time of the arrest, he was carrying his cousin’s ID card, but further investigations revealed his true identity.
Later reports proved that Abdo-Sattar Rigi was the captured terrorist.
The Jaysh al-Nasr terrorist group was led by Abdo-Sattar (the third of the infamous Rigi brothers), but his cousin Salam is headed by Jaish al-Adl.
Abdo-two Sattar’s older brothers, Abdolmalek and Abdolhamid Rigi, who headed the more powerful Jundallah terrorist group, were both previously captured by Iran and sentenced to death.
In early 2009, the Iranian security forces detained Abdolhamid Rigi, the Number Two man of the Jundullah terrorist group and brother of its ringleader Abdolmalek Rigi.
A number of bombing operations and violent attacks were carried out by Abdolhamid in Iran, resulting in several casualties, and he was sentenced to death by the court in 2009, but his execution was postponed many times. Officials did not state any particular explanation for Abdolhamid’s delayed execution at the time.
In late February 2011, Iran arrested Abdolmalek Rigi, the Jundallah terrorist group’s number one man. In June 2011, Abdolmalek was executed.
Iranian military and police officials expressed concern about the presence of militant groups in the territory of Pakistan, criticizing the weak control over shared borders by the Pakistani army and border police.