Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on Monday during a press conference in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore, said that the Indian Air Force (IAF) only focussed on whether targets were hit or not and didn’t count the number of casualties suffered by terrorists. He further added the number of casualties at the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) training camp would be released by the government. The Air Chief Marshal said, “The IAF is not in a position to clarify the number of casualties. The government will clarify that. We don’t count human casualties, we count what targets we have hit or not.” ‘R-73 Selected’, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s Last Radio Message Before Ejecting Out of Mig-21 Bison.
Speaking on the targets being hit, he said, “The target has been clearly amplified by the Foreign Secretary, Vijay Gokhale in his statement. If we plan to hit the target, we hit the target, otherwise why would he (Pakistan PM Imran Khan) have responded. If we dropped bombs in the jungles, why would he respond.” When asked about why Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was flying Mig-21 Bison which is considered to be an ageing fighter jet, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa termed it a capable aircraft. Pakistan Air Force Pilot Shahzaz Ud Din Whose F-16 Was Shot Down by Wg Cd Abhinandan Varthaman Mistaken to be Indian; Lynched by PoK Locals?
Media interaction of Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa:
He further stated, “It has been upgraded, has better radar, air-to air missiles and better weapons system.” Meanwhile, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa also made it clear that the Wg Cdr Varthaman would be flying fighter jets only after being declared fit. Lockheed Martin Busts Pakistan’s Lie; American Aircraft Manufacturer Not to Sue India For Claiming IAF’s MiG-21 Bison Shot Down PAF F-16 Fighter Jet.
Yesterday, The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah during a rally in Gujarat claimed that over 250 terrorists were killed in the strike. On February 26, 12 Mirage-2000 fighter jets crossed the Line of Control and destroyed terror camps of JeM in Pakistan’s Balakot. In retaliation, the very next day, fighter jets of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) violated the Indian airspace. The IAF fighter jets intercepted PAF aircraft. Pakistan’s F-16 Which Violated Indian Air Space Shot Down by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman with Mig-21 Bison; IAF Presents Cover of AMRAAM Missile As Evidence.
Wg Cdr Varthaman was part of a team comprising of six Mi-21 Bison pilots who took off from Srinagar, apart from Su-30 MKIs, Mig-29s and Mirage-2000s from other air force stations. According to reports, the dogfight lasted for about 15 minutes, during which the IAF pilot managed to “lock on” to PAF’s F-16 and then fired R-73 missile. The IAF officer was released almost after 60 hours by Pakistan on March 1.