New Delhi, Feb 26 : In the early hours of Tuesday,India conducted air raids at terrorists targets in Balakot, Muzaffarabad and Chakoti within Pakistan, the most serious escalation between the two nuclear-armed neighbors in decades and risks triggering a war -like situation. This is the first time the Indian Air Force crossed the Line of Control since 1971.
Early Tuesday, about 12 Indian Air Force Mirage-2000 fighter jets carried out series of aerial strikes across the Line of Control, destroying Jaish-e-Mohammad’s biggest training camp at Balakot in Khyber -Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan in which ” a very large number” of terrorists and their trainers were killed.
The entire operation involved over 200 hours of planning and Mirage jets left their base in Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh and after mid-air fuelling over Adampur in Punjab, they struck the terror camps in Balakot.It took only 21 minutes to decimate JeM funded terror camps located in the Balakot, Muzaffarabad and Chakoti sectors.
India decided to strike Balakot after the Pulwama terror attack as Indian intelligence agencies warned of another suicide terror attack, which could be bigger than Pulwama, somewhere in the country,and Balakot is considered as the hub of JeM.
The government received the intelligence input after the February 14 terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama by JeM suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dar in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were martyred.
India intentionally chosen on the 13th day of Pulwama attack to pay “best homage” to the slain CRPF personnel who lost their lives in the terror attack.
The lethal Mirage 2000 is one of the topmost fighter aircraft,entered Pakistani airspace and dropped 1,000-kg laser-guided bombs on Jaish-e-Mohammed terror launch pads across the Line of Control.
The French manufacturer fighter jet has a lighting speed of 2,000km per hour posses 30mm revolver-type artillery guns that has 125 rounds each.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale provide details of IAF operation inside Pakistan
Giving details of the “intelligence led operation” at a news conference here, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said credible intelligence was received that the JeM was planning to carry out other suicide attacks in India after the Pulwama bombing on a CRPF convoy 12 days ago that killed 40 jawans.
“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,” Gokhale said.
“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.” Junior Agriculture minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat also tweeted about the strike. “Air Force carried out aerial strike early morning today at terror camps across the LoC and Completely destroyed it,” he said.
India has given proof many times seeking action against Jaish-e-Mohammed and others at terror camps so big, that they can train hundreds of jihadis and terrorists at any given time. But due to Pakistan’s inaction, this step was necessary and had to be taken,” he asserted.
The strikes were “100 per cent successful” and went on “exactly as planned”, sources said, adding that the planes returned without a scratch. Pakistan tried to scramble F-16 but could not engage the Indian jets.
India has started briefing major world powers about the air strike.