Azhar Yusuf alias Mohd Salim alias Ustaad Gohri was targeted today in Balakot. He was one of the hijackers of IC-814.
7 Squadron Battle Axes and 1 Squadron Tigers engaged in the operation. Joint air surveillance by Indian Air Force and army was done between February 16-21. Trial run was being done in Central India so that Pakistani Intelligence cannot pick up any chatter.
The northern army Commander is monitoring the situation and in touch with the Army Chief and all all the formation Commanders and they have been ordered to deal with any Pakistani misadventure.
Army chief and Air Force chief will be meeting NSA.
Top senior commanders of Jaish were moved out by Pakistan army from Balakot post in the past few days. Sources indicate that more than 245 foot soldiers and terrorists who were under going training in these 3 camps were neutralised
On Feb 15, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa had presented the retaliatory airstrike option. On Feb 24, the trial run was carried out from Bhatinda and Agra. This included the early warning jets and mid air refueller. Heron Surveillance drone was used in the operation.
Govt has called for an all party meeting at 5 pm later on Tuesday. EAM Sushma Swaraj has called a meeting inviting Opposition leaders at Jawahar Bhawan (MEA) to brief them on India’s action.
Sources have told Republic TV that the Defence Minister was presented with multiple retaliatory options. Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa drew up the plan for retaliatory air strikes. Indian Army and Air Force stepped up the air surveillance along the LoC. Drones were also used for the surveillance, we are being told.
It is also learnt that target spots were selected around Feb 20-21. Two Mirage squadrons with 12 jets were designated for the mission. Further, early warning jet of Embraer platform and mid-air refueller did a trial run.
Sources have also mentioned told that 12 Mirage 2000s took off in batches. The mirages are equipped with laser-guided bombs. Also, it is reported that surveillance drone was also used in the operation. They fly at a low-level across LoC near Muzaffarabad.
PM Modi has briefed both President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu about the action.
Statement by Foreign Secretary on 26 February 2019 on the Strike on JeM training camp at Balakot
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 jidhadis 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.
Large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders were eliminated in largest JeM camp in Balakot. Camp was led by Maulana Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghauri, brother in law of JeM Chief Masood Azhar: Vijay Gokhale, Foreign Secretary
Government is committed to take actions against terrorism. The strike has taken place short while ago hence we are waiting for more details. Credible intelligence was received that Jaish-e-Mohammed was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country & fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose: Vijay Gokhale, Foreign Secretary
Information regarding terror camps has been provided to Pakistan but Pakistan continues to deny their existence. Pakistan has taken no concrete action against such terror attacks. Information was there that other terror attacks were to be taken: Vijay Gokhale, Foreign Secretary
This was a diplomatic strike. A warning to Pakistan. The strike was way beyond LoC. This was not cross IB. This was an “escalatory move”: MoD source
A dozen Mirage 2000 jets of the Indian Air Force destroyed three terror camps of Jaish-e-Mohammad in Pakistan before dawn on Tuesday by dropping 1,000 kg bombs on the terror camps. This strike comes less than a week after the Pakistan-backed JeM terror outfit attacked Indian CRPF convoy in which 40 jawans were martyred.
As per sources, the strike was carried out under planning/directions directly from NSA Ajit Doval, avenging the killing of 40 CRPF soldiers.
Here's what we know so far:
Alpha 3 control rooms of the Jaish-e-Mohammed were also destroyed in the operation
The strike involved a low-fly run by the Indian Air Force's fighters.
As per sources, the strike, carried out by 12 of the IAF's Mirage 2000 fighters, lasted up to 21 minutes, and was carried out at three locations:
In the light of the Pulwama terror attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that India has been given free rein to retaliate against Pakistan to avenge the attack.