Arnab Goswami left red-faced by Indian Air Force’s statement on casualties in Balakot


The three services of the Indian armed forces on Thursday held an extraordinary news briefing on the recent military skirmishes between India and Pakistan. In a significant statement, the Indian Air Force contradicted the claims made by pro-government TV channels on the extent of casualties in the Indian air strikes on Tuesday morning. The statement by Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor has left the TV anchors such as Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami, (who had claimed that the Indian air strikes left more than 300 terrorists dead) red-faced.

Arnab Goswami

Addressing the media, Air Vice Marshal Kapoor said, “It’s premature to say the number of casualties on the camp…whatever we intended to destroy we got that result.”

The Indian Air Force also showed the evidence of the Pakistani Air Force using F-16 to target Indian military installations. Senior Air Force officers displayed the cover of AMRAAM missile fired from Pakistani F-16 aircrafts found near the LoC in India after the press conference concluded.

Air Vice Marshal Kapoor said, “There is enough evidence to show that F-16s were used in this mission through their electronic signatures. Parts of AMRAAM, air to air missile which is carried only on the Pakistani F-16s was recovered east of Rajouri within the Indian territory.” He said that the Indian Air Force had shot down one Pakistani F-16.

Air Vice Marshal Kapoor was asked if the Indian Air Force considered the release of Wing Commander Abhinandan by Pakistan as a good will gesture. He said that while the Indian Air Force was happy that its officer was returning home tomorrow, he refused to term it a good will gesture saying that what Pakistan was doing was in line with the Geneva Convention. He said in response to a question, “As far as the IAF is concerned, we are happy that our pilot – who is in Pakistan’s custody – is returning, but we only see it as a gesture in compliance with the Geneva Convention.”

Also joining the press conference was the Indian Navy’s Rear Admiral DS Gujral, who said, “We are ready for any misadventure by Pakistan and we are ready for resolute action. We want to ensure safety and security of our citizens.”

Soon after the Indian Air Force carried out air strikes deep into Pakistan, channels such as Republic TV and Times Now had gone overboard in claiming that more than 300 terrorists were killed. But the Indian government had not made any comments on the claims of casualties.