Extended-protected article

2019 Balakot airstrike

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

2019 Balakot airstrike
Part of 2019 India–Pakistan standoff
Date26 February 2019 (2019-02-26)
Location
34°27′48″N 73°19′08″E / 34.46333°N 73.31889°E / 34.46333; 73.31889Coordinates: 34°27′48″N 73°19′08″E / 34.46333°N 73.31889°E / 34.46333; 73.31889
Result Destruction of JeM terror camp at Balakot.[3][4](Indian claim)
No casualties or damage (Pakistani claims).
Belligerents

 India

Jaishi-e-Mohammed.svg Jaish-e-Mohammed

 Pakistan

Commanders and leaders
Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa
(CAS)
Air Marshal Chandrashekharan Hari Kumar
(AOC-in-C, Western Air Command)[5]
Maulana Yousuf Azhar
(Indian claim)[6]
Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan
Units involved
Western Air Command[7][5] Unknown
Strength
12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets (Indian claim)[7] Unknown
Casualties and losses
Unknown
2019 Balakot airstrike is located in Kashmir
2019 Balakot airstrike
Location of the airstrike in Balakot, Pakistan
2019 Balakot airstrike is located in Pakistan
2019 Balakot airstrike
2019 Balakot airstrike (Pakistan)

The 2019 Balakot airstrike was conducted by India in the early morning hours of February 26 when Indian warplanes crossed the de facto border in the disputed region of Kashmir,[8] and dropped bombs in the vicinity of the town of Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan.[9][10]

Pakistan's military, the first to announce the airstrike on February 26 morning,[11] described the Indian planes as dropping their payload in an uninhabited wooded hilltop area near Balakot.[12]

India, confirming the airstrike later the same day, characterized it to be a preemptive strike directed against a terrorist training camp, and causing the deaths of a "large number" of terrorists.[13]

The following day, February 27, in a tit-for-tat airstrike,[14] Pakistan retaliated,[15] causing an Indian warplane to be shot down and its pilot to be taken prisoner by the Pakistan military before being returned on March 1.[16][17]

Analysis of open-source satellite imagery by the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensics Laboratory,[18] San Francisco-based Planet Labs,[19] European Space Imaging,[20] and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute,[21] has concluded that India did not hit any targets of significance on the Jaba hilltop site in the vicinity of Balakot.[22][23]

On 10 April 2019, some international journalists, who were taken to the Jaba hilltop in a tightly controlled trip arranged by Pakistani government, found the largest building of the site to show no evidence of damage or recent rebuilding.[24][25][26][27]

The airstrikes were the first time since the India-Pakistan war of 1971 that warplanes of either country crossed the Line of Control and also since both states have become nuclear powers.[a]

Background

The Kashmir insurgency has been occurring since 1989, but a new wave of violence was witnessed during 2016 when Burhan Wani then commander of Hizbul Mujahideen was killed in an encounter.[29] In 2018, more than 500 people (including civilians, soldiers and militants) were killed in the violence.[29] On 14 February 2019, a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber at Lethpora in the Pulwama district, Jammu and Kashmir, India; the attack resulted in the deaths of 46 Central Reserve Police Force personnel and the attacker. The perpetrator of the attack was from Indian-administered Kashmir;[30] the responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed.[31][32][33] Pakistan condemned the attack, and denied any connection to it.[34]

The airstrike occurred ahead of the 2019 Indian general election.[35][36] On February 19, Pakistan's PM attributed Indian government's desire to attack Pakistan to the upcoming election;[37][38] the Indian government rejected the allegation.[37]

Incident

IAF Mirage 2000 at the Gwalior air force base

On 26 February 2019, at around 3:30 am IST (10:00 pm UTC, 25 February), the Indian air force conducted airstrikes at Balakot, deep within Pakistan as a retaliation to the Pulwama attack; the strikes were subsequently claimed to be "non-military" and "preemptive'' in nature; targeting a Jaish-e-Mohammed facility within Pakistan.[39][b]

This airstrike was the first time since the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 that aerial attacks had crossed the Line of Control.[42][43]

Indian media claimed to have confirmed from official sources that twelve Mirage 2000 jets were involved in the operation.The Indian Express further reported that the Mirage 2000s were carrying SPICE 2000 & Popeye precision-guided munitions and that they were supported by four Sukhoi Su-30MKI, Netra and Phalcon airborne early warning and control aircraft, an IAI Heron UAV and two Ilyushin Il-78 aerial refuelling aircraft.[44] Furthermore Indian officials claim that four SU-30MKIs were launched from their South Punjab base and headed towards Jodhpur and on to Barmer, Rajasthan before turning West towards Jaish-e-Mohammed headquarters in Pakistan located in the populous town of Bahawalpur; these four aircraft, tasked as decoys, successfully drew PAF fighters way south of the main attack force. [45]

After releasing the bombs, the jets returned into Indian airspace unharmed and the Indian media claimed that whilst Pakistan scrambled its F-16 jets, they could not engage the Indian planes.[46]

Pakistani officials conceded the intrusion of Indian aircraft into its airspace but asserted that the Indian fleet was intercepted pending which they retreated, releasing the payloads and a fuel dump in an open area.[47] In a press briefing, Pakistan's Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Asif Ghafoor, stated that three IAF teams were spotted approaching the Pakistan border from various sectors in the early hours of 26 February, he added that the two of these teams did not cross the border following a challenge from Pakistani aircraft flying combat air patrol, but the third one crossed the Line of Control from the Kiran Valley near Muzaffarabad before being intercepted by Pakistani Air Force (PAF) jets within three minutes of the incursion.[48][49] Pervez Khattak, Pakistani Defence Minister, stated that the Pakistani Air Force did not retaliate at that time because "they could not gauge the extent of the damage".[50][51]

The target

There has been ambiguity among the sources as to what the exact target was,[52] and about whether the madrassa -- Taleem ul-Quran[53] run by Masood Azhar's brother-in-law, Muhammad Yusuf Azhar, was an active JeM camp or not.

According to WikiLeaks, a 2004 United States Department of Defence interrogation report stated that Balakot had "a training camp that offers both basic and advanced terrorist training on explosives and artillery."[54] In contrast, military analysts asserted that whilst the area used to host militant camps, they dispersed after the 2005 Pakistan earthquake to avoid detection by the international aid groups providing relief in the area.[55]

Indian intelligence sources claim that the camp was located in a hilltop forest, 20 km (12 mi) from Balakot, and that it was a resort-style facility, with space and room for 500–700 militants, including a swimming pool, cooks and cleaners.[56] The New York Times mentioned western security officials of having doubted the existence of such large-scale training camps, asserting that Pakistan no longer runs them and that "militant groups are spread out in small groups around the country".[52]

The local people varied as to the purpose of the facility.[54] In the immediate aftermath of the strikes, whilst some claimed of it being an active Jaish training camp, others asserted it to have been a mere school for the local kids and that such militant camps used to exist far earlier.[57][54][58] On later visits by Reuters, the locals claimed that the school had been shut down about a year back and was no longer operational.[59]

Damage

India claimed that "a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis" were eliminated who were preparing for launching another suicide attack targeting Indian assets.[39] Indian media reported that the camp was leveled, and about 200–350 JeM militants were killed[60][61] though the exact figures varied across media-houses;[62] the claims were probably derived from defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who pegged the count at over 300 whilst engaging reporters after a press-conference, on the morning of the attack.[63] The National Technical Research Organisation had located about 300 active mobile phones in the camp; prior to the strike.[64][65] In contrast, Pakistan asserted that there were no casualties or infrastructure damage as a result of the attack.[66][67]

Neutral sources assert that the munitions appear to have hit several trees in a wooded area and not much else, they also claim that there appears to be no casualties in area where the attack took place.[68][69][70][71][72][73] Western diplomat also claim that they did not believe that Indian Air Force had hit any militant camp.[71] Western security officials have casted doubt over Indian claims and asserted that there are no longer any such large scale militant camps in Pakistan.[74]

Villagers from the area claimed that four bombs struck a nearby forest and a field resulting in damage to a building and injuring a local man around 3:00 AM.[75][57] Journalists associated with the Associated Press visited the area on 26 February and saw craters and damaged trees; the villagers they met reported no casualties.[76] A team from Al Jazeera visited the site two days after the strikes and noted "splintered pine trees and rocks" which were strewn across the four blast craters; the local hospital officials and residents asserted that they did not come across any casualty or wounded people. The reporters located the facility,[62] a school run by Jaish-e-Mohammed, at around a kilometre to the east of one of the bomb craters, atop a steep ridge but were unable to access it.[54] Reporters from Reuters were repeatedly denied access to the madrassa by the military citing security issues but they noted the structure (and it's vicinity) to be intact from the back;[57][59] the press wing of the Pakistan military had twice postponed scheduled visits to the site.[59] However, on 29 March 2019, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) took journalist to the site where the strike took place. There were around 375 students present in the Madrasa. Journalist were allowed to interview the students, they were also allowed to take photos and record video of the site.[77]

Satellite data assessments

Satellite-data analysis by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's Nathan Ruser concluded that there is "no apparent evidence of more extensive damage and on the face of it does not validate Indian claims regarding the effect of the strikes."[62][78][79] Michael Sheldon, a digital forensics analyst from Atlantic Council did another independent investigation on the issue which asserted that no damage was inflicted to any infrastructure around the target-site, it concluded that "something appeared to have gone wrong in the targeting process" and that the botch-up was mysterious in light of the autonomous nature of the supposedly used missiles.[80][81][82][83] A Reuters investigation based on high-resolution satellite imagery by Planet Labs noted an unchanged landscape when compared to an April 2018 satellite photo, it noted that "there were no discernible holes in the roofs of buildings, no signs of scorching, blown-out walls, displaced trees around the madrasa or other signs of an aerial attack".[84] Even higher quality imagery, taken from the WorldView-2 satellite, was later also analysed by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and showed "that all three weapons missed by similar (but not identical) distances" suggesting "that the misses were caused by a systematic targeting error".[85][86]

European Space Imaging also provided high resolution image of the site where the strike took place; the satellite imagery was from 27 February 2019, a day after the strike took place. The image showed that buildings were unharmed and there was no sign of casualties at the site. Managing director Adrian Zevenbergen, claimed that "there were no signs of scorching, no large distinguishable holes in the buildings and no signs of stress to the surrounding vegetation".[87]

Indian officials claims

In contrast, Indian officials said that analysis of before and after images from the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) carried by an airborne platform showed that four buildings had been destroyed but did not release those images;[79] the official stated that SAR images from the first day after the attack showed that the roofs of the building (made of corrugated galvanized iron (CGI) sheets) were missing, and were repaired after two days. According to the official the presence of new roofs had made the assessment by technical intelligence difficult and it was up to the Indian Government to decide on the release of the classified SAR images;[88] the Indian Air Force showed the reporters of India Today and other media houses, the high-resolution satellite pictures possessed by the IAF which according to India Today showed three holes in the roof of one of the buildings. These holes were reported as a "classic signature of a SPICE bomb strike".[89]

Media reports

Reuters journalists were prevented from coming near the site of the attack, three times in nine days by the Pakistani security officials.[90] Business Today India stated that the area around Balakot had been cordoned off by the Pakistan Army and evidence such as the dead bodies were being cleared from the area.[91] Praveen Swami writing for Firstpost claimed that Indian intelligence estimated a figure of about 20 casualties and that there were five confirmed kills per burial records,[92] he also noted a JeM rally in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on 28 February, wherein Masood Azhar's brother, Abdul Rauf Rasheed Alvi mentioned India's attack of their headquarters and vowed revenge.[92] In another piece he state that RAW analysts estimated 90 casualties including three Pakistani Army trainers, based on intercepted communications in the immediate.[53] Swami though noted a lack of witness testimony to independently assess the validity of above claims.[53]

Aftermath

The IAF put air defence systems on alert along the international border and Line of Control to respond to any possible retaliation by the Pakistan Air Force.[93]

Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi summoned an emergency meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan to discuss the security situation[94] and asserted that Pakistan reserved the right to retaliate;[95] the prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, convened an emergency meeting to review the situation.[96] At the end of this meeting, the National Security Council (NSC) released a statement denying the Indian claims of the destruction of any terrorist camp and described the attack as "uncalled for" whilst adding that retaliation would be forthcoming after a joint parliamentary session,[97][98] he also stated that Pakistan will take international media to the area of strikes but were delayed due to adverse weather conditions.[99]

ANI claimed to have released photos of the alleged JeM camp and weapons cache sourced from intelligence sources.[100][101][102]

Reactions

India

Foreign diplomats from the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Australia, Indonesia, Turkey, China and six ASEAN nations were briefed by Indian foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale on the strike conducted.[103] Arun Jaitley, the Indian cabinet minister of Finance stated two reasons, for Pakistan denying the effectiveness of the airstrike stating, "There are two plausible reasons. First, the Pakistan army had created a big aura about its prowess among Pakistanis, and it did not want its image dented." Jaitley noted that the second reason was more important, and stated "Had the Pakistan army admitted that our fighters bombed its buildings, the first question to be raised would have been: What was the extent of damage? Experts would have come for a survey of the buildings and asked about the people staying inside... then Pakistan would have had to reveal names of the Jaish fighters who died there."[104]

International

Australia noted its condemnation of Pulwama attack and asked Pakistan to crack down on terrorists operating from its soil, it also asked both India and Pakistan to restrain from actions that would jeopardize peace.[105] China's foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang stated "We hope that both India and Pakistan can exercise restraint and adopt actions that will help stabilize the situation in the region and improve mutual relations".[106] France asked both India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, saying that it supported Indian actions against terrorism and asked Pakistan to stop allowing its territory to be used by terrorists;[107] the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation condemned the airstrike and called on both India and Pakistan to show restraint.[108] United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo termed the attack as a "counter-terrorism action" and reaffirmed US-India ties, he asked both sides to show restraint.[109]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ India became a nuclear power with successful Smiling Buddha operation in 1974 and Pakistan's successful operation of Chagai-I took place in 1998.[28]
  2. ^ Scholar Ayesha Jalal has mentioned, "Many recruits to the Jaish-i-Muhammad were trained in a madrassa in Balakot named after Sayyid Ahmad Shaheed".[40] Rana and Mir state describe its precise location, "At a distance of five kilometres from this village [Attar Sheesha] there is a dirt track on the left that leads up to the mountains.... If an ordinary person does reach the madrassa he is not allowed to enter. Even Jaishe Mohammed workers can only enter after a thorough search and a registration process.... Judging from the outside, the area of the madrassa is very large and there is a fort like entrance gate that has a Jaishe Mohammed flag flying atop it."[41]

References

  1. ^ "India destroys JeM terror camps: Where exactly is Balakot?". Business Today. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  2. ^ "India-Pakistan tension: Where is the real Balakot, the Indian Air Force target?". Gulf News. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  3. ^ "5-star Balakot Camp Was Sitting Duck Target for IAF, 350 Terrorists Killed While Sleeping: Sources". Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Balakot strike after intel on Pulwama 'celebration' meet". Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Kerala man behind IAF air strike in Pakistan". MyNation. Archived from the original on 28 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Jaish chief Masood Azhar's brother-in-law was target of IAF strike in Balakot". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  7. ^ a b "IAF Western Air Command coordinated 'anti-terror operation'". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 28 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  8. ^ Joanna Slater; Niha Masih (15 February 2019), "Modi vows action after dozens die in deadliest attack in Indian-held Kashmir in 3 decades", Washington Post Quote: "Both India and Pakistan claim the Himalayan region of Kashmir, but it has been divided between them for more than 70 years."
  9. ^ Joanna Slater (26 February 2019), "India strikes Pakistan in severe escalation of tensions between nuclear rivals", Washington Post
  10. ^ Michael Safi; Mehreen Zahra-Malik; Azar Farooq (26 February 2019), "'Get ready for our surprise': Pakistan warns India it will respond to airstrikes", Guardian Quote: "Pakistan, ... said the war planes made it up to five miles inside its territory"
  11. ^ Michael Safi; Mehreen Zahra-Malik; Azar Farooq (26 February 2019), "'Get ready for our surprise': Pakistan warns India it will respond to airstrikes", Guardian Quote: "Pakistan, which was the first to announce the incursion, ..."
  12. ^ Maria Abi-Habib; Austin Ramzy (25 February 2019), Indian Jets Strike in Pakistan in Revenge for Kashmir Attack Quote: "A spokesman for Pakistan’s armed forces, Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, on Tuesday posted on Twitter four images of a forested area pockmarked with small craters and debris, which he said was the site of Indian airstrikes."
  13. ^ Slater, Joanna; Constable, Pamela (27 February 2019). "Pakistan captures Indian pilot after shooting down aircraft, escalating hostilities". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  14. ^ Joanna Slater; Pamela Constable (27 February 2019), "Pakistan captures Indian pilot after shooting down aircraft, escalating hostilities", Washington Post Quote: The two days of tit-for-tat airstrikes ... the first since 1971, were triggered by a Feb. 14 terrorist bombing in Indian-controlled Kashmir that killed 40 Indian security personnel."
  15. ^ Amy Kazmin (1 March 2019), "India and Pakistan engage in a high-stakes game of brinkmanship", Financial Times Quote: "A day after India’s strike, Pakistan retaliated, sending planes to attack military installations in India."
  16. ^ Joanna Slater and Pamela Constable (27 February 2019), "Pakistan captures Indian pilot after shooting down aircraft, escalating hostilities", Washington PostCS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  17. ^ Jeffrey Gettleman; Hari Kumar; Samir Yasir (2 March 2019), "Deadly Shelling Erupts in Kashmir Between India and Pakistan After Pilot Is Freed", The New York Times
  18. ^ @DFRLab (28 February 2019), "Surgical Strike in Pakistan a Botched Operation? Indian jets carried out a strike against JEM targets inside Pakistani territory, to questionable effect", Medium Quote: "Indian fighter jets carried out strikes against targets inside undisputed Pakistani territory, but open-source evidence suggested that the strike was unsuccessful."
  19. ^ Martin Howell; Gerry Doyle; Simon Scarr (5 March 2019), Satellite images show buildings still standing at Indian bombing site, Reuters Quote: "The images produced by Planet Labs Inc, a San Francisco-based private satellite operator, show at least six buildings on the madrasa site on March 4, six days after the airstrike. ... There are no discernible holes in the roofs of buildings, no signs of scorching, blown-out walls, displaced trees around the madrasa or other signs of an aerial attack."
  20. ^ European Space Imaging (8 March 2019), PAKISTAN: Satellite Imagery confirms India missed target in Pakistan airstrike Quote: " ... said Managing Director Adrian Zevenbergen. '... The image captured with Worldiew-2 of the buildings in question shows no evidence of a bombing having occurred. There are no signs of scorching, no large distinguishable holes in the roofs of buildings and no signs of stress to the surrounding vegetation.' "
  21. ^ Marcus Hellyer; Nathan Ruser; Aakriti Bachhawat (27 March 2019), "India's strike on Balakot: a very precise miss?", The Strategist, Australian Strategic Policy Institute Quote: "But India’s recent air strike on a purported Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist camp in Balakot in Pakistan on 26 February suggests that precision strike is still an art and science that requires both practice and enabling systems to achieve the intended effect. Simply buying precision munitions off the shelf is not enough."
  22. ^ Sameer Lalwani; Emily Tallo (17 April 2019), "Did India shoot down a Pakistani F-16 in February? This just became a big deal.", Washington Post Quote: " Open-source satellite imagery suggests India did not hit any targets of consequence in the airstrikes it conducted after the terrorist attack on the paramilitaries.
  23. ^ Michael Safi; Mehreen Zahra-Malik (5 March 2019), "Kashmir's fog of war: how conflicting accounts benefit both sides:India and Pakistan's differing narratives are not unusual in the social media age, say experts", Guardian Quote: "Analysis of open-source satellite imagery has also cast doubt on India’s claims. A report by the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab was able to geolocate the site of the attack and provide a preliminary damage assessment, it compared satellite images from the days before and after India’s strike and concluded there were only impacts in the wooded areas with no damage visible to surrounding structures."
  24. ^ Martin Howell; Salahuddin; Reuters (11 April 2019), "Inside the Pakistani Madrasa Where India Said It Killed Hundreds of 'Terrorists", The New York Times Quote: "Those visiting the site on Wednesday didn't see any signs that there had been significant building work to either clear structures or erect new ones. And the vegetation didn't appear to have suffered the stress that might be expected from a missile attack."
  25. ^ BBC (10 April 2019), Balakot air strike: Pakistan shows off disputed site on eve of India election Quote: "They were given access to an Islamic school in Balakot, where Indian media say militants were killed in retaliation for an attack in Kashmir. The large building appeared to be fully intact ..."
  26. ^ Agence France Presse (11 April 2019), "Pakistan takes media, diplomats on visit to Indian strike site", france24, AFP Quote: "International outlets which visited the Indian air strike site in Pakistan found no evidence of a major terrorist training camp -- or of any infrastructure damage at all."
  27. ^ Siobhan Heanue (14 April 2019), "The remote school at the centre of a dispute between nuclear neighbours Pakistan and India", Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Quote: "One thing is clear: India's claim that it destroyed a militant training camp and killed more than 300 extremists cannot be backed up by the evidence. More than a month after India launched airstrikes inside Pakistan in retaliation for a militant attack that killed 40 paramilitary troops in Kashmir, foreign media have been allowed to see the areas hit."
  28. ^ Teh-Kuang Chang; Angelin Chang; Brent T. Gerchicoff (2017). Routledge Handbook of Asia in World Politics. Routledge. ISBN 1317404262. Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  29. ^ a b Kashmir: Why India and Pakistan fight over it Archived 24 December 2018 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News
  30. ^ India Blames Pakistan for Attack in Kashmir, Promising a Response Archived 23 February 2019 at the Wayback Machine, New York Times. 15 February 2019. Quote:The militant who claimed responsibility for the attack, Aadil Ahmad Dar, was from a village about six miles from where the Indian convoy was struck, in contrast to the fighters and weapons that once streamed in from Pakistani-occupied areas to sustain the insurgency, and the explosives he packed into his car appear to have been locally procured, security experts said.
  31. ^ "Pulwama attack: India will 'completely isolate' Pakistan". BBC. 16 February 2019. Archived from the original on 15 February 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  32. ^ "Jaish terrorists attack CRPF convoy in Kashmir, kill at least 38 personnel". The Times of India. 15 February 2019. Archived from the original on 15 February 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  33. ^ Pulwama Attack 2019, everything about J&K terror attack on CRPF by terrorist Adil Ahmed Dar, Jaish-eMohammad Archived 18 February 2019 at the Wayback Machine, India Today, 16 February 2019.
  34. ^ "On Kashmir attack, Shah Mahmood Qureshi says 'violence is not the govt's policy'". DAWN.COM. 16 February 2019. Archived from the original on 23 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  35. ^ Tensions Between India and Pakistan Are at Their Highest Point in Decades. Here's What to Know Archived 28 February 2019 at the Wayback Machine, TIME.
  36. ^ CNN, Analysis by Nikhil Kumar. "Why being seen as tough on Pakistan helps India's Modi". CNN. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  37. ^ a b "Pakistan warns India against attacking". 19 February 2019. Archived from the original on 23 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019 – via www.bbc.com.
  38. ^ Dawn.com (19 February 2019). "Pakistan will address actionable evidence if shared by Delhi, PM Khan tells India after Pulwama attack". DAWN.COM. Archived from the original on 24 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  39. ^ a b "IAF struck 'JeM's biggest training camp' at Balakot, says Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on India's operation in Pakistan". Firstpost. Archived from the original on 1 March 2019. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  40. ^ Jalal, Ayesha (2009), Partisans of Allah: Jihad in South Asia, Harvard University Press, pp. 287–288, ISBN 978-0-674-03907-0
  41. ^ Rānā, Muḥammad ʻĀmir; Mir, Amir (2004), A to Z of Jehadi Organizations in Pakistan, Mashal Books, p. 226
  42. ^ "India Pakistan: Kashmir fighting sees Indian aircraft downed". BBC News. 27 February 2019. Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  43. ^ Farmer, Ben; Bedi, Rahul (26 February 2019). "Indian planes bomb Pakistan as Kashmir tensions escalate". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  44. ^ Singh, Sushant (27 February 2019). "Wheel comes full circle: Balakot camp was run by IC-814 hijacker". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  45. ^ https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/iaf-fooled-pakistan-with-decoy-fighters/articleshow/68238409.cms
  46. ^ "Jaish Camp Hit In 90-Second Op, Jets Returned Without A Scratch: Sources". NDTV.com. 26 February 2019. Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  47. ^ "Indian strikes target militants in Pakistan". 26 February 2019. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019 – via www.bbc.com.
  48. ^ Dawn.com (26 February 2019). "ISPR DG debunks India's claims on LoC violation". DAWN.COM. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  49. ^ Ghafoor, Maj Gen Asif (25 February 2019). "Indian aircrafts [sic] intruded from Muzafarabad sector. Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot. No casualties or damage". @OfficialDGISPR. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  50. ^ Anderson, Claire (27 February 2019). "Pakistan defence minister mocked after saying it was 'Too Dark' for airstrike retaliation". Daily Express. Archived from the original on 28 February 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  51. ^ Pande, Aparna. Pakistani Military’s Credibility Problem with Its Own People.
  52. ^ a b Abi-Habib, Maria; Ramzy, Austin (25 February 2019). "Indian Jets Strike in Pakistan in Revenge for Kashmir Attack". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  53. ^ a b c "India's bombs haven't killed the Jaish". Firstpost. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  54. ^ a b c d "At raid site, no casualties and a mysterious school". aljazeera.com. Archived from the original on 28 February 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  55. ^ Abi-Habib, Maria (26 February 2019). "After India's Strike on Pakistan, Both Sides Leave Room for De-escalation". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 3 March 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  56. ^ "350 terrorists killed while sleeping: Sources". Deccan Herald. 26 February 2019. Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  57. ^ a b c "Pakistani village asks: Where are bodies of militants India says it..." Reuters. 1 March 2019. Archived from the original on 2 March 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  58. ^ As it happened: Tension mounts after Indian fighter jets cross Kashmir frontier, bomb camps Archived 27 February 2019 at the Wayback Machine, Gulf News
  59. ^ a b c "No access to Pakistan religious school that India says it bombed". Reuters. 8 March 2019. Archived from the original on 7 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  60. ^ PTI. "350 terrorists killed in LoC air strike, claims India". Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  61. ^ "IAF air strikes across LoC: IAF jets blow up Jaish-e-Mohammed's main terror camp in 'non-military strike': Govt". Hindustan Times. 26 February 2019. Archived from the original on 28 February 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  62. ^ a b c Chacko, Johann; Chacko, Johann. "Both India and Pakistan may be lying, and that may breed worse disasters". Quartz India. Archived from the original on 2 March 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  63. ^ Tiwari, Ayush (12 March 2019). "'Over 300 casualties' in Balakot airstrikes, but who's the 'source'?--It's likely that the Defence Minister provided the figure herself". Newslaundry. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  64. ^ "India cites 'active mobile phones' to back air strike casualty claim". Reuters. 5 March 2019. Archived from the original on 7 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  65. ^ "'Were trees using 300 mobiles?': Rajnath to Congress on Balakot strike". hindustantimes.com. 5 March 2019. Archived from the original on 5 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  66. ^ Dawn.com (26 February 2019). "Indian aircraft violate LoC, scramble back after PAF's timely response: ISPR". DAWN.COM. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  67. ^ "Pakistan vows response over India 'strikes'". 26 February 2019. Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  68. ^ "Israel is playing a big role in India's escalating conflict with Pakistan". Independent UK. 28 February 2019. The “300-400 terrorists” supposedly eliminated by the Israeli-manufactured and Israeli-supplied GPS-guided bombs may turn out to be little more than rocks and trees.
  69. ^ "Deadly Shelling Erupts in Kashmir Between India and Pakistan After Pilot Is Freed". New York Times. 2 March 2019.
  70. ^ "'Get ready for our surprise': Pakistan warns India it will respond to airstrikes". The Guardian. 27 February 2019. The attack was celebrated in India, but it was unclear on Tuesday whether anything significant had been struck by the fighter jets, or whether the operation had been carefully calibrated to ease popular anger over the 14 February suicide bombing without drawing a major Pakistani reprisal.
  71. ^ a b "Pakistani village asks: Where are bodies of militants India says it bombed?". Reuters. 28 February 2019. Western diplomats in Islamabad also said they did not believe the Indian air force hit a militant camp.
  72. ^ "The Young Suicide Bomber Who Brought India and Pakistan to the Brink of War". New York Times. 2 March 2019. But Mr. Modi’s plan didn’t go as intended. Independent reporting showed that the Indian jets had hit some trees, a field — and not much else; the next morning, Pakistani fighter jets dropped some bombs inside Indian-controlled territory.
  73. ^ "Did Balakot Airstrikes Hit Their Target? Satellite Imagery Raises Doubts". The Wire. 27 February 2019.
  74. ^ "Indian Jets Strike in Pakistan in Revenge for Kashmir Attack". New York Times. 5 February 2019. Western security officials have raised questions about the existence of a large-scale training camp, saying that Pakistan no longer runs such camps.
  75. ^ "No blood. No bodies. No debris. No tragedy". The Express Tribune. 27 February 2019. Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  76. ^ Tensions escalate as Indian airstrike hits inside Pakistan Archived 2 March 2019 at the Wayback Machine, Associated Press
  77. ^ "Pakistan allows media to visit Balakot air strike location". The Week. 29 March 2019.
  78. ^ "Did Balakot Airstrikes Hit Their Target? Satellite Imagery Raises Doubts". The Wire. Archived from the original on 2 March 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  79. ^ a b "Eyewitnesses say Indian air strike on Balakot killed terrorists, former ISI agents". cnbctv18.com. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  80. ^ Safi, Michael (5 March 2019). "Kashmir's fog of war: how conflicting accounts benefit both sides". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 5 March 2019. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  81. ^ @DFRLab (28 February 2019). "Surgical Strike in Pakistan a Botched Operation?". DFRLab. Archived from the original on 4 March 2019. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  82. ^ Gettleman, Jeffrey; Kumar, Hari; Yasir, Sameer (2 March 2019). "Deadly Shelling Erupts in Kashmir Between India and Pakistan After Pilot Is Freed". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  83. ^ Slater, Joanna (1 March 2019). "In crisis with Pakistan, India's Modi keeps eye on elections". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  84. ^ "Satellite images show madrasa buildings still standing at scene of..." Reuters. 6 March 2019. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  85. ^ "India's strike on Balakot: a very precise miss?". The Strategist. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  86. ^ "Satellite Imagery confirms India missed target in Pakistan airstrike". European Space Imaging. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  87. ^ "Satellite Imagery confirms Indian missed target in Pakistan airstrike". European Space Imaging. 27 March 2019.
  88. ^ "Defence Establishment Has Evidence Of Air Strikes In Balakot In Terms Of SAR Imagery". indiatimes.com. 2 March 2019. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  89. ^ "The inside story of IAF's Balakot strike". India Today. 16 March 2019. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  90. ^ "No access to Pakistan religious school that India says it bombed". Reuters. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  91. ^ "Pakistan trying to hide dead bodies of terrorists in Balakot, debunks India's claims: Source". businesstoday.in. 26 February 2019. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  92. ^ a b "Property records nail Pakistani lie on Jaish-e-Mohammed HQ in Bahawalpur, finds Firstpost investigation". Firstpost. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  93. ^ ANI (25 February 2019). "Indian Air Force has put on high alert all air defence systems along the international border and LoC to respond to any possible action by Pakistan Air Force.pic.twitter.com/9GER7eqGPf". @ANI. Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  94. ^ ANI (25 February 2019). "Radio Pakistan: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has summoned an emergency meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan. The meeting will discuss the security situation. (File pic)pic.twitter.com/G2pPKna28u". @ANI. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  95. ^ PTI (25 February 2019). "Minister of Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi Policy Statement after the violation of LOC by Indian Air ForceIpic.twitter.com/tduq8rpXd8". @PTIofficial. Archived from the original on 1 March 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  96. ^ Dawn.com (26 February 2019). "PM Khan summons 'important meeting' in wake of India's LoC violation". DAWN.COM. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  97. ^ ANI (26 February 2019). "Pakistan's National Security Committee (NSC) after a meeting chaired by Pakistan PM Imran Khan today: India has committed uncalled for aggression to which Pakistan shall respond at the time and place of its choosing.pic.twitter.com/7IfgrEXFN8". @ANI. Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  98. ^ PTI (26 February 2019). "This action has been done for domestic consumption being in election environment,putting regional peace and stability at grave risk.The claimed area of strike is open for the world to see the facts on ground.For this domestic&international media is being taken to the impact site". @PTIofficial. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  99. ^ ANI (26 February 2019). "Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi: Pakistan will take international media to the area of strikes, helicopters are being readied, right now weather is bad, will fly when weather permits. (file pic)pic.twitter.com/hkvl1Z40gh". @ANI. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  100. ^ ANI (26 February 2019). "Intel Sources: Picture of JeM facility destroyed by Indian Ar Force strikes in Balakot, Pakistanpic.twitter.com/th1JWbVrHw". @ANI. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  101. ^ ANI (26 February 2019). "Intel Sources: Ammunition dump blown up today in Balakot,Pakistan by IAF Mirages. The dump had more than 200 AK rifles, uncountable rounds hand grenades, explosives and detonatorspic.twitter.com/b7ENbKgYaH". @ANI. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  102. ^ ANI (26 February 2019). "Intel Sources: Flags of USA, UK and Israel painted on staircases seen in Jaish e Mohammed facility destroyed by Indian Air Force jets in Balakotpic.twitter.com/266CEI0hGR". @ANI. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  103. ^ ANI (26 February 2019). "Chinese diplomat was also briefed by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on the Indian Air Force strike in Balakot". @ANI. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  104. ^ "Balakot Air Strike Exposed Pakistan's "Nuclear Bluff", Says Arun Jaitley". NDTV.com. 9 March 2019. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  105. ^ "Australia Asks India, Pak To 'Exercise Restraint', Engage In Dialogue". Outlook. 26 February 2019. Archived from the original on 27 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  106. ^ "China urges India, Pakistan to 'exercise restraint' after air strike". The Economic Times. 26 February 2019. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  107. ^ Achom, Debanish, ed. (26 February 2019). "Recognise India's Legitimacy To Ensure Security Against Terror: France". NDTV. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  108. ^ APP, Dawn com (26 February 2019). "OIC condemns Indian incursion against Pakistan, urges both sides to exercise restraint". DAWN.COM. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  109. ^ "India-Pakistan tension: Pompeo speaks to Sushma Swaraj". The Economic Times. Indo-Asian News Service. 27 February 2019. Archived from the original on 28 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.

External links