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India Strikes Pakistan: Pak Scrambled F16's To Retaliate But Balked At Indian Formation's Size, Confirm Sources

Written By Aishwaria Sonavane | Mumbai | Published:

The Pakistani F16s were scrambled to retaliate against IAF Mirage 2000s but turned back due to the size of the Indian formation, sources told ANI. 

In an operation co-ordinated by Western Air Command , days after the Pulwama terror attack India destroyed three Jaish-e-Mohammed terror launchpads at Balakot, Chakoti and Muzzafarabad in Pakistan. 

Speaking over which, Foreign Secretary Vijay addressed the media on Tuesday confirming the strike, further informing that JeM was planning another attack. 

Vijay Gokhale said, "The JeM has been operating in Pakistan for over two decades, which is led by Masood Azhar. This organization is responsible for a series of terror attacks. 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. A pre-emptive strike became important. In an intelligence lead operation in the early hours today, India struck the biggest training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot. In this operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commander & groups of Jihadis were eliminated. This facility in Balakot was headed by Maulana Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghauri, brother in law of JeM Chief Masood Azhar."

Following the strike, it is known that Pakistan Foreign Minister Mahmood Qureshi called an "emergency meeting" on Tuesday at the Foreign Office for consultations. 

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Here's what we know so far about India's strike at Pakistan:

  • As per sources, it was the Indian Air Force's Mirage-2000 fighter jets, 12 in number, that participated in the operation. 
  • As per IAF sources, the operation was conducted at 3:30 AM on February 26.
  • The operation involved dropping 1000 kg payloads on terror camps
  • Jaish-e-Mohammed terror launchpads at Balakot, Chakoti and Muzaffarabad were destroyed in the operation
  • 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.

Three locations were targeted by the Indian Air Force. Here is the timeline:

  • 3:45 am-3:53 am: The first strike was conducted at Balakot, 24 KM North West of Muzafarrabad.
  • 3:48 am- 3:55 am: The second strike, as per top sources, was at Muzafarrabad
  • Around 3:55 am: India's third blow was at Chakoti

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