Indian Air Force strike in Pakistan: All you need to know about Surgical Strike 2.0

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New Delhi | Updated: February 27, 2019 12:00:20 AM

The Indian jets are said to have pounded Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)'s terror camps in Balakot, Muzaffarabad and Chakoti in a well-planned strike and it involved 12 Mirage 2000 aircraft that were supported by a fleet of Sukhoi 30 jets.

Indian Air Force, Indian Air Force strike on Pakistan, Surgical Strike 2.0, air strike, Pulwama Terror Attack, Masood Azhar, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Balakot, IAF, Mirage 2000, Sukhoi 30 jets, defence newsIndian Air Force strike on Pakistan. (Representative image: PTI)

Indian Air Force strike on Pakistan: In the aftermath of the Pulwama Terror Attack on February 14, 2019 that resulted in the death of over 40 paramilitary personnels, the Indian Air Force gave a befitting reply in the wee hours of February 26. The IAF carried out pre-dawn air strikes on terror camps across the Line Control (LoC) in the Pakistani side. The Indian jets are said to have pounded Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)’s terror camps in Balakot, Muzaffarabad and Chakoti in a well-planned strike and it involved a fleet of Indian Air Force jets along with other military jets. The airstrike is said to have hit JeM’s biggest training camp in Pakistan that has killed up to 350 terrorists and trainers who according to officials were moved there for protection after the Pulwama attack.

Since the war of 1971, this was the first airstrike by the Indian Air Force in Pakistan in more than 45 years. According to a PTI report, sources described the operation as “non-military” and “preemptive” that struck a five-star resort-style camp on a hilltop forest. It added that the dozen Mirage 2000 fighter jets that were involved in the operation found a “sitting duck target” and caught the terrorists in their sleep.

Here is all we know about Indian Air Force’s strike on Pakistan:

Where did the Indian Air Force strike took place?

The Indian warplanes hit the hillside camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pakistan’s Balakot, which is located at about 80 km from the Line of Control (LoC) and near Abbotabad where Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed in hiding in 2011 by covert US forces. It is said that the mountainous terrain in the area helped the IAF take cover and hide from radar.

Read more| Surgical Strikes 2: Meet Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, the man of the hour

Timing of the Indian Air Force strike on Pakistan?

The strike by the Indian Air Force took place between 3:45 am and 4:05 am, however, the actual strike lasted for less than two minutes. An Air Force veteran told Reuters that this time could have been chosen as the alertness of radar system operators is more likely to be lower at this hour.

Also read| Who is Maulana Yousuf Azhar, the head of Jaish-e-Mohammad’s Balakot training camp

Equipments used by India for the strike?

According to PTI, the Indian Air Force used 12 Mirage 2000 aircraft that were supported by a fleet of Sukhoi 30 jets along with a mid-air refueller and two Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS). Sources have been quoted saying that the IAF jets used a number of laser-guided bombs, each weighing over 1,000 kg in order to destroy the JeM facility. The mid-air refueller was an IL-78 aircraft which did not cross the LoC.

Also read| Balakot: Know all about JeM’s biggest terror camp also used by Hizbul to train militants

Who was killed in the strike?

The Indian Air Force strike on Pakistan is said to have killed a large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action. According to the government, the deceased included Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief, Masood Azhar’s brother-in-law Yousuf Azhar (alias Ustad Ghouri), who headed the facility at Balakot.

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