Exactly Twelve days after the Pulwama terror attack, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out major strikes at terror camps of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot town of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.
The strike in Balakot, around 80 km from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, was directed at the Jaish-e-Mohammed; the Pakistan-based terror outfit had owned responsibility for the February 14 suicide attack. India carried out a pre-dawn strike on a terror camp across the Line of Control, which was carried out at around 3:30 this morning by 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets.
The aircraft dropped 1,000 kg laser-guided bombs on a major terror camp across the Line of Control, completely destroying it.
How India Planned & Carried ‘Operation Balakot’, Monitored By PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and three top ministers monitored the Indian Air Force operation in Balakot targeting the Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camps from the situation room located at the South Block on Tuesday.
Not only was the PM at South Block this morning when the air strikes were conducted, but he also briefed both the President and Vice-President about the Indian air strikes on the JeM terror camps, according to sources.
The blueprint of the air operation was also discussed with the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her recent meeting with all the 3 service chiefs in New Delhi.
Modi government reportedly was quite satisfied with the operation and called the mission ‘100 percent successful’ as IAF crossed the Line of Control and completely destroyed 3 JeM terror camps.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale while briefing the media said, “A large number of Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists, trainers, senior commanders were eliminated in largest JeM camp in Balakot. The camp was led by Maulana Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghauri, the brother-in-law of JeM chief Masood Azhar.”
Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force is on high alert along the international border and LoC to respond to any possible action by Pakistan Air Force. Air defense systems have also been activated to track any intrusion along the international border and the LoC.
According to officials, everyone at the camp was “sleeping” and Pakistani defence establishment “had no clue” that the attack was coming so deep into their country because they had expected a surgical strike on camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir near the Line of Control.
A small group of aircraft broke away from the swarm and headed to Balakot where “the sleeping terrorists were sitting ducks for the Indian bombing,” the Press Trust of India quoted a source as saying.
Tensions are high between the neighbours following the ghastly February 14 attack
India’s operation comes two week after the terror attack in Pulwama in which over 44 soldiers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed when a suicide bomber of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed exploded a car full of bombs next to a security convoy.
A 22-year-old Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist Adil Ahmad Dar was identified as the suicide bomber who carried out the attack. Accused of one of the deadliest terrorist attacks the state has ever witnessed, Dar lived just 10 kilometres away from the attack spot in Gundibagh.
Soon after the Pulwama terror attack, India had appealed to the international community to back the naming of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a “UN designated terrorist”.
On September 29, 2016, the army had carried out surgical strikes on seven terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in retaliation to an attack on its base in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri earlier that month.
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