On Tuesday early morning Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out air strike on terror camps cross-Line of Control (LoC) inside Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and revenged the killing of 44 CRPF soldiers. IAF used Mirage 2000 fighter planes to bomb targets inside Pakistan.
As per sources, 12 Mirage-2000 fighter jets carried out air strikes and dropped 1000 kg bombs on terror camps at Balakot near Muzafarabad in Pakistan. The operation took place around 3:45 am and it took 19 minutes to complete the operation successfully.
Hours after the cross border air strike, Indian government confirmed the air strikes were carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to destroy the biggest terror camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), the terrorist group that claimed the deadly attack on CRPF convoy in Kashmir. Large number of terrorists have been killed in the IAF operation.
Foreign Secretary said in a statement, “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”.
However Pakistan accepted that Indian fighter jets intruded inside Pakistan occupied Kashmir but denied for any casualties or damage. Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Asif Ghafoor said that Pakistan Air Force responded timely and effectively and forced the IAF jets to drop the payload in an open area.
General Asif Ghafoor tweeted, “Indian aircraft intruded from Muzafarabad sector. Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot. No casualties or damage”.
He said, “Under forced hasty withdrawal aircraft released payload which had free fall in open area. No infrastructure got hit, no casualties. Technical details and other important information to follow”.
Indian Air Force (IAF) provided full support during the surgical strike 2.0. An Airborne Early Warning eye (AWACS) was seen up in the sky over New Delhi early morning. Aircrafts for midair refueling were also deployed by IAF in order to deal with any kind of emergency.
Read the full Statement by Foreign Secretary on air strikes on JeM terrorist camps inside Pakistan on February 26, 2019:
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 of 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.
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 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.
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.