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News of the Day – Mirage 2000, Sukhoi-30s, AWACS part of IAF’s operation on JeM camp in Balakot
- February 27, 2019
- Posted by: Shivam
- Category: NEWS Worth To Read
News of the day – Mirage 2000, Sukhoi-30s, AWACS part of IAF’s operation on JeM camp in Balakot
News of the day 17 Feb 2019 – The Indian Air Force struck at Jaish-e-Mohammed’s biggest terrorist training camp at Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, using 12 Mirage 2000 aircraft supported by a fleet of Sukhoi 30 jets, a mid-air refueller and two Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), official sources said.
They said all the bases of the IAF have been put on maximum alert to deal with any possible retaliation by Islamabad to the strike, the first by the IAF inside Pakistan after the 1971 war.
The sources said the IAF jets used a number of laser-guided bombs, each weighing over 1,000 kg, to destroy the the JeM training facility in Balakot, around 80 KM from the Line of Control.
The operation began around 3:45 AM and concluded by 4:05 AM while the actual strike lasted for less than two minutes. The aircraft took off from a number of bases, they said.
The entire operation was monitored from the Air headquarters in Delhi by top commanders of the IAF including Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa, the sources said.
They said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat and Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba were being updated about the operation on a real-time basis.
“It was a massive strike and Pakistan will never forget about it. The operation was 100 per cent successful,” said a source.
It said the strike sent out a clear message to Pakistan that India no longer hesitates to use air power to deal with terror groups operating from the neighbouring country.
The sources said most of the jets, which were part of the operation, flew very low to avoid being detected by Pakistani radars while the AWACS provided the radial cover to the Mirage 2000 jets.
They said all the IAF assets returned to their bases without sustaining any damage.
The mid-air refueller was an IL-78 aircraft which did not cross the LoC.
The sources said Mirage 2000 fighter jets were chosen for the strike due to its capabilities of hitting long-range targets with “pin-point” accuracy.
Hours after the strike, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told the media that a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated.
“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,” he said.
IAF air strikes across LoC: Nation in safe hands, says PM Narendra Modi
In his first public event hours after the IAF carried out strikes at Jaish terror camp, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday pledged to uphold the country’s honour.
“It is such a moment that we should salute our bravehearts, bow to them. I assure you that the nation is in safe hands,” PM Modi told a gathering of ex-servicemen in Rajasthan’s Churu.
“There is nothing more important than this country,” PM Modi said, without making a direct reference to the overnight strikes by the Indian Air Force at terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s terror camp across the Line of Control. He didn’t have to.
The government had, hours earlier, confirmed that the IAF’s Mirage-2000 jets had carried out a strike across the Line of Control. It was widely seen as punitive action for the Pulwama terror attack carried out by Jaish terrorists about a fortnight earlier.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the action had been carried out in view of credible intelligence about Jaish suicide attacks in various parts of the country, a point that underscores that the effort to flatten Jaish’s biggest camp in Balakot was also taken in self-defence.
“I won’t let this country down,” said PM Modi, recalling that he had pledged to protect the country’s best interests back when he came to office in 2014.
“In 2014 I had said and repeat it again… Saugandh mujhe is mitti ki, main desh nahin mitne dunga, main desh nahin rukne dunga, main desh nahin jhukne dunga (I vow that I will not let the nation be erased, I will not let the nation stop, I will not let the nation bow down),” said PM Modi.
The swift and precise air strike that destroyed Jaish-e-Mohammed’s camp has been welcomed across the political spectrum. Congress president Rahul Gandhi was among the first to tweet: “I salute the pilots of the IAF.”
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described the IAF as “India’s Amazing Fighters”. In the Delhi Assembly, the soldiers received a standing ovation as soon as the lawmakers met today.
India has taken a series of steps to build pressure on Pakistan following Pulwama terror attack. India withdrew the most favoured nation (MFN) status given to Pakistan in 1996, hiked tariff by 200 per cent on imports from Pakistan and also decided to construct hydel projects to stop India’s share of water from flowing to Pakistan.
The prime minister said the government could take “bold decisions” because of “your one vote”. He said, “Your vote made a strong government in 2014. The entire world is today witnessing its power…Your one vote will give reply to those thinking of a weak government at the Centre and elect a stronger BJP government again.”
Tension between India and Pakistan has escalated in the aftermath of Pulwama attack. India blamed Pakistan for continued terror attacks in India. Pakistan denied having any hand behind the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir.
At least 40 CRPF jawans were killed in the Pulwama terror attack earlier this month. The IAF strike on terror camp comes 12 days after the terror attack in the Kashmir Valley after a Jaish terrorist rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a CRPF convoy on Jammu-Srinagar highway on February 14.
Gokhale said the air strike was carried out on the basis of credible intelligence and designed to target the Jaish camp without any civilian casualties. A “very large number” of terrorists, trainers and senior commanders were eliminated in the IAF operation, he said.
Source – Hindustan Times
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