Operation Bandar (Bandar Means Monkey)
The IAF’s mission to bomb the terrorist hideout in Balakot, Pakistan, was given the codename ‘Operation Bandar’. It was a rare operation in which the IAF crossed the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and dropped bombs on targets in Pakistani territory. Balakot is a small town settled in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region.
- On February 26, 2019, Indian Air Force’s Mirage-2000 fighter jets took off from airbases across India. The Indian Air Force jets passed the LoC in J&K and destroyed Jaish terror camps in Balakot with precision-guided projectiles.
Pulwama assault at CRPF escort
Forty CPRF Jawans lost their lives in the assault when an ED-laden SUV crashed into their protection. The terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed liability for the suicide bombardment. The Balakot airstrikes were seen as a direct response to the Pulwama bombing.
The air battle between Indian, Pakistani jets
- Pakistan retaliated a day after. The Pakistan Air Force attempted an airstrike on Indian soil. The Indian Air Force launched its fighter jets in response, leading to a rare dogfight between the Indian and Pakistani jets.
- In the skirmish, an IAF MiG-21 Bison fighter jet shot down a Pakistani F-16 throughout the fight. Indian Mig-21, which was being flown byWing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, was also shot down and he was caught by the Pakistani forces. After much consultation, Wing Commander Abhinandan was delivered two days later from Pakistan’s clasp. This improvement tranquillized the tensions within the two countries after two weeks of emphasised dispute.