DefenceArticle

Balakot Airstrike – India’s counterstroke to terrorism

It was on this day, last year, the Indian Air Force took the stupendous action to counter terrorism of the neighbouring country, Pakistan. The 2019 Balakot airstrike was the first time since the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, that attacking warplanes had crossed the Line of Control.

The airstrike was carried out in retaliation to the Pulwama attack where a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber at Lethpora. The attack resulted in the deaths of 46 Central Reserve Police Force personnel and the attacker.

Islamist terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed the responsibility of the Pulwama attack.

Two weeks later, Indian Air Force’s Mirage-2000 fighter jets bombed the launchpads where India asserted that “a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis,” who were preparing for launching another suicide attack targeting Indian assets, were killed. About 200-350 JeM militants were killed.

The Indian Air Force mission to discard terrorist hideout in Pakistan’s Balakot was codenamed ‘Operation Bandar’. India had termed the airstrike an “intelligence-led, non-military, pre-emptive” operation that targetted a camp run by the Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot.

The JeM camp is Balakot is a highly guarded facility and one of the biggest training camps of the Jaish-e-Mohammad which is responsible for a number of strikes on Indian soil that include the one at Parliament, Uri, Pulwama.

India remembers on this day the courage and valour of the Air Force for their successful execution of operation in a bid to teach a lesson to the enemy that we shall never be more quiet.

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