India Bombs Pakistan, Targeting Terrorist Camps In Cross-Border Air Raids; Pakistan Vows Retaliation

Tuesday, February 26, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Tue, 02/26/2019

With most of the world distracted by President Trump’s second summit meeting with Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, tensions between two nuclear-armed powers flared roughly 2,000 miles West in the contested border region of Kashmir.

In retaliation for one of the deadliest terror attacks in the history of the long-running Kashmiri insurgency – earlier this month, a Muslim ‘mujahidin’ drove a car loaded with explosives into a bus packed with Indian paramilitary soldiers, killing more than 40 – Indian fighter jets carried out a tactical strike on what the Indian government described as a training camp for the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), killing more than 300 militants and infuriating the government in Islamabad, which condemned the attack and insinuated that it could launch a counter-strike of its own, with Prime Minister Imran Khan warning the nation of 200 million and its armed forces to “remain prepared for all eventualities.”

Unsurprisingly, the two countries offered contrasting descriptions of the attack. Here’s more from Al Jazeera:

Indian fighter jets on Tuesday crossed into Pakistani territory, conducting what the foreign ministry in New Delhi termed a “non-military pre-emptive action” against armed group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), dramatically escalating tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours weeks after a suicide attack in the disputed Kashmir region.

Pakistan reported the Indian airspace incursion, with military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor saying its air force jets were scrambling to respond, forcing the Indian aircraft to “release [their] payload in haste while escaping”.

Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, however, asserted that the jets had hit their target, and that “a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated”.

“The government of India is firmly and resolutely committed to taking all necessary measures to fight the menace of terrorism,” he told reporters in New Delhi. “Hence this non-military pre-emptive action was specifically targeted at the Jaish-e-Mohammed camp.”

One professor said this was the first time Indian air forces had crossed the “line of control” dividing Kashmir in more than four decades…

“The last time the Indian Air Force crossed the line of control intentionally and publicly to conduct air strikes was 1971,” Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at MIT said via email, referring to the last Indo-Pakistan war.

…And the strike also marked the first time that Indian air forces had attacked a “terrorist target” on Pakistani territory.

C Uday Bhaskar, the director of the Society for Policy Studies based in New Delhi, said: “India has sent a very firm signal.”

“The fact that air power has been used for the first time against a terrorist target to my mind signalled to Pakistan that India is demonstrating resolve in terms of using military power, particularly air power,” he said.

In response to the Feb. 14 terror attack that initially sent tensions soaring, the Indian Army said earlier on Feb. 19 that it had killed a JeM leader in Kashmir who was a Pakistani national with links to the ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence service. Pakistan has denied any links.

The Rest…HERE

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