10:24 GMT08 March 2021
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    February’s suicide bombing attack on Indian security forces in the disputed Kashmir region and the skirmishes and escalations between India and Pakistan which followed bought the two Asian nuclear powers to the brink of war.

    The Pakistani Air Force has released a media presentation on ‘Operation Swift Retort’, the military operation conducted on February 27, 2019 in retaliation to the Indian Air Force’s strikes on a militant camp in Pakistan on February 26.

    In its presentation, PAF released what it said was “actual footage” of one of the Pakistani bombs being dropped outside the Indian Army’s Narian Ammunition Depot.

    PAF said it targeted the Narian base, but “dropped the bombs 400 m from target” as a show of strength, to avoid escalating the situation any further. The footage was one of four targets where the air force dropped six bombs on February 27, it claimed.

    “This is the actual clip of the bomb which is being directed towards this target,” a PAF spokesperson said, while footage appearing to be recorded from the missile’s onboard camera was showed approaching its target.

    The PAF also displayed photos of the wreckage of the Indian MiG-21 Bison downed during the February 27 skirmishes.

    PAF claimed all of its data was “available for independent verification.”

    The Indian side has yet to comment on the presentation or the veracity of its claims.

    Kashmir Tensions

    On February 26, about two weeks after a suicide bomber believed to be affiliated with the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group killed 40 Indian security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian Air Force carried out a surprise cross-border strike on an alleged Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot region.

    A day later, on February 27, Indian and Pakistani forces engaged in an aerial dogfight over Kashmir, leading to the shootdown of at least one Indian aircraft, with India claiming it also  shot down a Pakistani F-16, while Pakistan claimed it had downed a Su-30MKI in addition to the MiG-21.

    The back-to-back strikes and aerial skirmishes led to a major escalation along the fragile Kashmir border, with both countries engaging in back and forth artillery and small-arms fire, and threatening one another with more serious repercussions, including the use of nuclear weapons, in the event of war.

    In early August, India formally revoked the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir, escalating tensions further.

    The Kashmir dispute has been the central cause of three of the four wars India and Pakistan have fought since they attained independence from Britain in 1947.


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