UPDATE: IRGC to Give ‘Crushing Response’ to Abductors
Gen. Sharif’s announcement confirms the expectations that the IRGC’s move to militarize the border security, away from law enforcement agency NAJA, would mean it was planning a military incursion into Pakistan to conduct search and rescue operations.
Below is the original article posted here on 29 March.
IRGC Ground Forces (IRGC-GF) was put in charge of security of a 300-km stretch of border with Pakistan. IRGC-GF’s southeastern headquarters in the city of Saravan, the so-called Quds HQ (not to be confused with IRGC-QF), took over the responsibility from Law Enforcement Forces (NAJA) and its border patrol unit, Fars News Agency reported today.
Last month, five border guards were abducted in that area by the Baluch militant group Jaish ul-Adl, and reportedly transferred to the Pakistani side of Baluchistan. Jaish ul-Adl has since executed one of the guards.
Yesterday, IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari visited Saravan. (IRNA, 29 March)
“The IRGC's Quds Headquarters has been commissioned to ensure the security of 300 kilometers (186 miles) of Iran's border areas in the Southeastern city of Saravan in Sistan and Baluchestan province in a bid to step up security in the region,” Jafari said. (Fars News Agency, 29 March)
Gen. Jafari’s visit to the region came amid growing expectations that IRGC Special Forces, the Saberin, supported by IRGC-GF units, will soon conduct search and rescue operations inside Pakistani territory to free the remaining abductees.
The Iranian government, however, has been pressuring Pakistan to take the lead in freeing the guards before any military intervention across the border. It is not known if the IRGC or the Pakistanis know the exact location where the guards are being held.
Photo credit: IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari (Press TV)