New Delhi, Feb 26: Avenging the Pulwama attack that claimed lives of 40 CRPF personnel and armed with 'free hand' green signal from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian Air Force(IAF) early Tuesday morning struck the terror bases in Pakistan and destroyed at least three terror camps run by Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Sources said 12 Mirage jets carrying 1000 kg of bombs dropped it at various vulnerable camps. Camps at Balakot, Chakoti, Muzaffarabad - were destroyed, sources said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a crucial meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security which was being attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval also. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Home Minister Rajnath Singh -- all members of CCS were present at the meeting.
Amid appreciation of the role undertaken by Indian Air Force in attacking 'terror camps' across LoC by former military officers, Pakistan army on Tuesday said that the Indian aircraft "intruded" from Muzafarabad sector and also "released payload".
The use of phrase "released payload" suggests - there could be huge bombing-- something which Pakistan will not admit if the impact is not big, say experts.
"Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot. No casualties or damage," Major General Asif Ghafoor, spokesperson of Pakistan Armed Forces claimed in his early morning tweet.
He also wrote: "Indian Air Force violated Line of Control. Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled. Indian aircrafts gone back". From the Indian Air Force, there is no comment as of yet but government sources say the NDA regime is committed to 'walk the talk'.
An informed source called it a '20-minute pre-dawn strike' but declined to divulge details. The actions from the Air Force come days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had categorically announced that the armed forces were being given a ‘free hand’.
Reports suggest the air strikes have 'destroyed' terror camps near Balakot. Former military officers and defence experts say the impact has been huge.
"If we go for such major exercise, it is obvious we will be carrying adequate materials to cause the bigger damage we want. So, please wait for sometime. I am sure over the period of time, some photograph or something will be given out," Air Marshal (Retd) B K Baburao told a television channel. UNI