Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa has exposed the claims made by BJP President Amit Shah, who said on Sunday that the Indian air strikes in Balakot had killed more than 250 terrorists in Jaish camps.
Speaking to reporters in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, the Indian Air Force chief said that he was not in a position to count casualties. “Air Force is not in a position to clarify how many people were inside. We don’t count human casualties. We count what targets we have hit or not hit,” Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa was quoted by NDTV.
He added, “The bomb damage assessment that is done post a mission calculates the number of targets we have hit or not hit.”
On Pakistan using F-16 fighter planes to target Indian military installations, the Indian Air Force Chief said, “We have got pieces of the AMRAAM missile in our territory which we displayed and obviously I think they (Pakistan) have lost an F-16 aircraft in that combat, obviously they have been using the aircraft against us.”
“I don’t know what’s the individual agreement between America & Pakistan. If the individual agreement was that they’ll not use it (F-16) for offensive purposes, then I think they have violated that,” he was quoted by news agency ANI.
Speaking at an event in Ahmedabad on Sunday, Shah had said that ‘on the 13th day’ of the Pulwama attack, ‘the Narendra Modi government carried out an airstrike, and more than 250 terrorists were killed without suffering any losses.’
Speaking to reporters on 28 February, Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor too had refused to confirm the claims of 300 terrorists killed in the Balakot air strikes as claimed by several pro-government media outlets. He had said, “It’s premature to say the number of casualties on the camp…whatever we intended to destroy we got that result.”