IAF's 12 Mirage 2000 Jets Bomb Pakistan with 1000 KGs of Bombs
In a swift and precise air strike following the Pulwama attack, India bombed and destroyed Jaish-e-Mohammed’s (JeM) biggest training camp in Pakistan early Tuesday on February 26, 2019, eliminating a ‘very large number’ of terrorists, trainers, and senior commanders. The attack was carried out12 days after a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide bomber Adil Ahmed Dar rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into a bus ferrying CRPF jawans in Jammu & Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Notably, at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed in the worst attack on the security forces in Pulwama on February 14, 2019.
Addressing the media, Foreign Secretary Vijay K Gokhale said that the “non-military pre-emptive action was specifically targeted at the terrorist camp” located at Balakote, around 195 km from Islamabad.
Following an uproar within Pakistan that the strike occurred deep inside Pakistani territory, Islamabad clarified that the Indian attack took place in the Balakote located close to the Line of Control (LoC). The strikes involving 12 Mirage 2000 jets of the Indian Air Force (IAF) destroyed camps belonging to Pakistan-based terror groups, like Jaish-e-Muhammed and Lashkar-e-Toiba. The extent of the damage inflicted on the ground is not known yet. The IAF carried-out strikes across the LoC in Muzaffarabad sector and Chakothi in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and near Balakote in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.
As per sources, the operation was carried-out in 21 minutes. In the area, 24 km NW of Muzaffarabad, were the joint training camps of Jaish-e-Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen. The terror groups had emptied launchpads, but not training camps. Sources said, 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets struck the terror camps and completely destroyed them inside Pakistan and PoK in the well-planned operation. There was significant damage that had been inflicted on the Pakistani side. The operation was reportedly carried-out between 3:45 am and 4:04 am.
Pakistan on the attack claimed on Tuesday that IAF fighter jets crossed the LoC and returned after the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) scrambled warplanes and also clarified that the IAF jets dropped bombs within Pakistani Kashmir at Balakote. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday that “His country would choose the time and place to respond to what he called ‘uncalled-for aggression’ by India,” but denied that New Delhi had struck Jaish-e-Mohammed on Pakistani soil.
Following the air strike on the terror launch pad, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his first public comments on Tuesday. PM addressed a public rally in Churu district of Rajasthan. The PM mentioned that “salute our armed forces and all fellow Indians and bowed down to the public”.
PM Narendra Modi said, “Today, I repeat what I said back in 2014 “Saugandh mujhe is mitti ki, main desh nahi mitne doonga, main desh nahi rukne doonga, main desh nahi jhukne doonga.... Mera vachan hai Bharat maa ko, tera sheesh nahi jhukne doonga...,” which loosely translates to: “I take a vow, swearing by Mother India, I shall not let my motherland face defeat, humiliation, annihilation. I won’t let its growth stop or slow down”. He also mentioned that today is a day to pay homage to India’s Bravehearts.
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