Before the funeral pyres and graves of the CRPF soldiers martyred in the Pulwama attack on 14th February 2019 could go cold, India showed Pakistan how terrorism must truly be dealt with when push comes to shove.
Earlier this morning, India carried out an air-borne strike on three locations in Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) to eliminate terrorists and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) training camps in the area. The air-strike was carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) using hi-tech fighter jets, which successfully destroyed the camps of the terror-outfits functioning out of three pivotal centres in the area.
Here are all the details you need to know about the who, when, where and how of the air-strike carried out by the Indian Air Force during the wee hours of 26th February 2019, that made India's stand on terrorism very clear:The Timeline
The Indian Air Force dropped 1000 kg bombs on three sensitive terror camps in Balakot, Muzaffarabad and Chakothi in PoK and Pakistan. Here is how the series of air-strikes were carried out.
Intel Sources: Ammunition dump blown up today in Balakot,Pakistan by IAF Mirages. The dump had more than 200 AK rifles, uncountable rounds hand grenades, explosives and detonators pic.twitter.com/b7ENbKgYaH— ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019
3:45 am - 3:53 am - The first strike was carried out at Balakot, 24-km north-west of Muzaffarabad. Joint training camps of Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba were located in the area. These are launch pads that were jointly operated by the three terror outfits.
3:48 am - 3:55 am - The IAF struck the terror camps in Muzaffarabad next.
3:55 am - 4:04 am - Chakothi, which is over 50 kilometres from Muzaffarabad, was the last and final target of the strike.
The Official Statement By The Indian Government On The Airstrike
An official statement from the government on the airstrike on the terror bases in Balakot, Muzaffarabad and Chakothi by the Indian Air Force, was made by the Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale in a detailed statement, earlier this morning.Here is the full statement:
· On 14 February 2019, a suicide terror attack was conducted by a Pak based terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammad, leading to the martyrdom of 40 brave jawans of the CRPF. JeM has been active in Pakistan for the last two decades and is led by Masood Azhar with its headquarters in Bahawalpur.
· This organization, which is proscribed by the UN, has been responsible for a series of terrorist attacks including on the Indian Parliament in December 2001 and the Pathankot airbase in January 2016.
· Information regarding the location of training camps in Pakistan and PoJK has been provided to Pakistan from time to time. Pakistan, however, denies their existence. The existence of such massive training facilities capable of training hundreds of jihadis could not have functioned without the knowledge of Pakistan authorities.
· India has been repeatedly urging Pakistan to take action against the JeM to prevent jihadis from being trained and armed inside Pakistan. Pakistan has taken no concrete actions to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism on its soil.February 26, 2019
· Credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose. In the face of imminent danger, a preemptive strike became absolutely necessary.
· In an intelligence-led operation in the early hours of today, India struck the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot. In this operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis, who were being trained for fidayeen action, were eliminated. This facility at Balakot was headed by Maulana Yousuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghouri, the brother-in-law of Masood Azhar, Chief of JeM.
· The Government of India is firmly and resolutely committed to taking all necessary measures to fight the menace of terrorism. Hence this non-military preemptive action was specifically targeted at the JeM camp. The selection of the target was also conditioned by our desire to avoid civilian casualties. The facility is located in a thick forest on a hilltop far away from any civilian presence. As the strike has taken place only a short while ago, we are awaiting further details.
JeM's Yusuf Azhar alias Mohammad Salim alias Ustaad Gohri who was targeted today by IAF #airstrike in Balakot across LOC was on the Interpol list and among the most wanted in India. pic.twitter.com/1eTj8FhFMJ— ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019
· The Government of Pakistan had made a solemn commitment in January 2004 not to allow its soil or territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India. We expect that Pakistan lives up to its public commitment and takes follow up actions to dismantle all JeM and other camps and hold the terrorists accountable for the actions.7 Vital Tactical Moves Used By IAF During The Strike
1. Mirage 2000- The multirole fighter jet acquired in the 1980s and Rafale's predecessor.
2. GBU-12 paveway laser-guided bomb, an American-built precision guidance bomb kit.
3. Matra magic close combat missile, loaded as a defence tool for a possible counter-attack by Pakistan.
Intel Sources: Picture of JeM facility destroyed by Indian Ar Force strikes in Balakot, Pakistan pic.twitter.com/th1JWbVrHw— ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019
4. Litening pod, a laser designator and targeting pod to acquire targets and guide precision bomb.
5. Bhatinda-based Netra airborne early warning jet.
6. Ilyushin flight refuelling aircraft to refuel jets.
7. Heron drone from a secret airfield conducted real-time surveillance along the Line of Control.
Even though India holds many other advanced fighter jets in its artillery, Mirage 2000 was brought out once again after the 1999 Kargil War, for the airstrike.
· The French fighter jet was made by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
· The Indian Air Force first took on a 36 single-seater Mirage 2000 and four twin seater Mirage-2000 in 1982, when Pakistan bought F-16 from the US.
· Mirage 2000 played a pivotal part in the Kargil war in 1999. Later the Indian government took on ten more Mirage-2000 planes in 2004.Other Things To Know About The Airstrike
· According to reports, the entire operation lasted around 20 minutes, which includes take off till return time.
· 12 Mirage 2000 jets took part in the operation and dropped bombs weighing 1000 kg.
· Reports also suggest that close to 300 militants, trainers and commanders were killed in the strike.
Intel Sources: Flags of USA, UK and Israel painted on staircases seen in Jaish e Mohammed facility destroyed by Indian Air Force jets in Balakot pic.twitter.com/266CEI0hGR— ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019
· A Business Today report states that government sources have said that six laser-guided bombs were dropped by IAF's Mirage 2000s during the surgical air strike on terror camps located within Pakistan.
· The National Security Committee of Pakistan stated that "India has committed uncalled for aggression to which Pakistan shall respond at the time and place of its choosing,” after a meeting with PM Imran Khan.
· Main targets of the air strikes were Ibrahim Azhar and Mufti Azhar Khan Kashmiri.
A Owaisi: Was expecting this sort of response within 2-3 days after Pulwama blast. Welcome this. We stand with govt. Though Foreign Secy called it non-military action,it's a step I was expecting govt will take long time back. I hope govt will now go after Masood Azhar&Hafiz Saeed pic.twitter.com/eYgHAfrt7c— ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019
Subramanian Swamy: Even if it was their territory, we have under the United Nation charter the right of self-defence. They have been attacking us & they say we want to give a thousand cuts to India, so our government did the right thing by giving them 1000 bombs. https://t.co/t1N22SzLHS— ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019
I salute the bravery of Indian Air Force pilots who have made us proud by striking terror targets in Pakistan— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 26, 2019
They say they want India to bleed with a 1000 cuts. We say that each time you attack us, be certain we will get back at you, harder and stronger. Salute the brave pilots of the @IAF_MCC that carried out the strikes. #JaiHind pic.twitter.com/3dLvr5oX0B— Vijay Kumar Singh (@Gen_VKSingh) February 26, 2019
IAF also means India's Amazing Fighters. Jai Hind— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) February 26, 2019
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Lt Gen DS Hooda (Retired), the Northern Army Commander during the 'Surgical Strike' in 2016: My compliment goes to the government for taking this action & also to the Air Force for the way they have carried out this strike (in Balakot) in an absolutely professional manner. pic.twitter.com/zdDVqZvhOU— ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019
Today's strong action shows the will and resolve of a New India.
Our New India will not spare any acts of terror and their perpetrators and patrons.