In a massive scoop, Republic TV has accessed exclusive details of the intelligence inputs that went into zeroing-in on Balakot being one of the targets of the Indian Air Force's precision strikes on Pakistan's terror factories.
As per inputs, during its surveillance post the strike on Pakistan's terror bases being approved, the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) detected around 300 mobile phones being active at the well-known JeM-LeT-HM terrorism facility in Balakot, and this remained stable for a number of days before the attack.
A number of agencies then corroborated the NTRO's surveillance findings, validating the presence of the estimated number of terrorist foot-soldiers and handlers at the location that was then being run by Jaish-chief Masood Azhar's brother-in-law. The Air Force was then provided with the inputs ahead of the attack.
Earlier, on the day of the IAF's strike, Republic TV had accessed complete details of the conception, planning and execution of the top-secret operation.
On the day of the attack, i.e. February 26, at about 0300 hours - keeping in mind a window of least resistance of the Pakistani Air Force - a number of aircraft - 1 Embraer AEW-145, 1 IL-78 mid-air refueller, 16 Mirage 2000s and 4 SU-30s - took off from four Air Force Bases.
The strike at Balakot - the location deepest inside Pakistan's territory - took place between 3:45 am and 3:53 am. It was this strike that debilitated Pakistan the most, with Pak authorities rushing to claim that the IAF's bombs had missed their mark and had hit nearby a nearby forest area, though suspiciously, Pakistan hasn't taken the simpler alternative of sharing visuals of the facility - which they portray as a Madrassa - still being intact. The Indian Air Force has, however, on two occasions, confirmed that the intended target was hit and the intended damage caused.
The following day, a vengeful Pakistan Air Force attempted a mass incursion into Indian airspace in an effort to bomb Indian military installations but were repulsed by an alert IAF which shot down one of the Pak F-16s.