Thursday, July 18, 2024
  1. You Are At:
  2. News
  3. India
  4. Balakot airstrikes: How Indian Air Force entered Pakistani airspace and destroyed JeM terror camps I DEETS

Balakot airstrikes: How Indian Air Force entered Pakistani airspace and destroyed JeM terror camps I DEETS

The airstrike was the first time since the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War, wherein Indian warplanes had crossed the Line of Control and destroyed Pakistan terror camps.

Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 New Delhi Published on: February 26, 2023 12:12 IST
Representational Image
Image Source : @IAF_MCC/TWITTER Representational Image

Four years of Balakot airstrike: India witnessed one of the deadliest terrorist attacks, wherein it lost 40 brave soldiers on the same day the world was celebrating the week of love, Valentine's day, in 2019. However, unlike earlier, this time, India did not choose to consult the United States about its next step but, was determined to retaliate historically. Subsequently. on February 26, 2019, India carried out airstrikes by crossing international boundaries-- thus marking the first incident since the 1971 Indo-Pak war when an Indian aircraft carried out an airstrike outside its limit. 

What triggered India to launch an airstrike?  

According to the then Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, nearly 2,500 soldiers were returning in at least 70 vehicles via Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama to rejoin their duties. In a pre-planned manner, the convoy was targeted by a vehicle driven by a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist identified as Aadil Ahmad Dar-- a local resident of Pulwama. As per the defence ministry, nearly 80 kilograms of high-grade RDX explosive was used in the suicide attack. Later, the Pakistan-based terror outfit, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack.

How Indian Air Force executed the plan?

Subsequently, India's Defence Ministry, with the consultation of the Research & Analysis Wing’s (RAW) intelligence inputs, gave a green signal to carry out a counter-attack on Islamabad.

According to the defence ministry, the plan was code-named-- "Operation Bandar". Though it was not clear why the term "Bandar" (Monkey) was picked by the officials, those familiar with the Operation claimed it was anointed to maintain secrecy. Besides, some defence experts also linked it with the epic Ramayana, where Lord Rama’s 'commander' Lord Hanuman sneaked into Lanka and destroyed the entire empire of the demon king Ravana. 

"Operation Bandar"

The operation was carried out in the wee hours of February 26. According to the ministry, at least 12 single-engine, fourth-generation jet fighters-- Mirages took off from multiple air bases. These fighter aircraft, for the first time, crossed the Indian borders and entered Pakistani airspace and destroyed Balakot-based JeM terror camps.

Barely a few minutes into airstrikes, the Indian Air Force killed several terrorists and returned to its respective airbases. However, the Pakistani administration did not acknowledge such staunch action by India, local media reported huge infrastructural damage in the area.

Outcome of Balakot airstrike

After giving a staunch reply to Pakistan, Islamabad has not dared to carry out any major attack on India. In fact, Pakistan authorities were forced to return Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who was captured after being forced to eject his fighter plane over Pakistani territory. Later, he was conferred with the wartime gallantry award, Vir Chakra. Even after the passage of four years of the attack, it is relevant to document why India has been actively exposing Pakistan and its vested agendas against New Delhi on international platforms.

Also Read: Pulwama attack: How Indian diplomacy exposed Pakistan-terror module that killed 40 CRPF personnel


Read all the Breaking News Live on and Get Latest English News & Updates from India