The Indian Air Force carried out a long-range precision strike against a mock target to mark the second anniversary of the Balakot operations - India's cross-border strikes on the back of the February 2019 Pulwama terror attack.
The strike was carried out by members of the squadron that conducted the airstrikes on terror launch pads in Balakot in Pakistan.
#WATCH: IAF carried out a long-range precision strike against a practice target to mark the second anniversary of the Balakot Operations. The strike was carried out by members of the same Sqn who carried out the actual operations. pic.twitter.com/CPMhfQZaZt— ANI (@ANI) February 27, 2021
In addition to this, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria flew in an upgraded Mirage-2000 fighter aircraft during the multi-aircraft sortie with the units to commemorate the occasion along with the squadron pilots.
On 14 February 2019, Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) targeted a CRPF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway near Pulwama in South Kashmir killing 40 CPRF personnel.
Days later the IAF launched an air-strike on a JeM camp in Balakot in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.
The air-strike was launched in the early hours of 26 February and Pakistan's efforts to launch an offensive the next day to target Indian military installations in Jammu and Kashmir was thwarted by an alert the IAF.
In the dogfight, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, flying a MiG-21 Bison fighter plane and chasing Pakistani jets, crossed over to PoK where his aircraft was shot down. He was taken into custody by Pakistan. India also shot down a Pakistani fighter jet.
Salute from central government ministers
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday saluted the exceptional courage and diligence of the IAF and said "the success of strikes has shown India's strong will to act against terrorism".
"On the anniversary of Balakot Air Strikes, I salute the exceptional courage and diligence of the Indian Air Force. The success of Balakot strikes has shown India's strong will to act against terrorism. We are proud of our Armed Forces who keep India safe and secure," the Defence Minister tweeted.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also saluted the valour of the IAF fighters and said under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, the security of the country and the soldiers is paramount.
"On this day in 2019, @IAF_MCC had made it clear the New India's policy against terrorism by giving response to the Pulwama terror attack," Shah tweeted.
"I remember the brave martyrs of Pulwama and salute the valour of the Air Force. Under the leadership of @narendramodi ji, security of the country and our soldiers is paramount," he said.
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