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Army strikes terror camps in PoK

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Gagan
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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Gagan » 24 Oct 2016 20:39

But on a serious note.
The pakistanis have shut down the camps around Muzzafarabad? and moved them inwards into Pakistan itself.

Come winters and those camps will be back on the hills west of Muzzy-a-bad.

Gen Bakshi suggested that a few teams went in deep, hit those camps, and the terrorists scattered all over the place. Some must have run all the way back to their villages in south punjab. The others were sent to the launch pads, where they were duly attended to by the waiting Paras.
Typical Aasman se gire and Khajoor pe atke onlee.

Bottom line is, that Pakistan will now have more sentries around their camps, will not keep too many people around the launch pads, keep changing houses. Have more sentries all over.

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Gagan » 24 Oct 2016 20:43

Senge Hasnan Sering ‏@SengeHSering Oct 13

Map of militant training camps in #Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir. Such camps also train anti-Shia & anti-Afghan outfits
Image

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Surya » 25 Oct 2016 01:34

Gagan wrote::rotfl:
They sniped at the hijacker from afar through the cockpit window.
.


the whole thing is depicted in the movie the Assault and the 18 ?? minute raid is shown minute by minute

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Gagan » 25 Oct 2016 01:59

Have to see the movie.
I have seen a documentary on this.

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Manish_P » 12 Nov 2016 16:07

Gagan ji

Check this

IDF Akrab (Scorpion), an M60 hull with an armoured cab on a mast as a mobile armoured watchtower

Image


Gagan wrote::rotfl:
They sniped at the hijacker from afar through the cockpit window.

But how about inserting people onto the 3rd or 4th floor onlee? I am sure if I could think of it, a lot of people who do this for a living have thought about it onlee.

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Gagan » 13 Nov 2016 17:50

Wow! yes Manish_P ji
Exactly what I had seen several years ago. Don't remember the cabin up there though.

This can be a pretty handy asset in counter insurgency with the security forces, and for hostage situations

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby kmkraoind » 14 Nov 2016 00:58

I think we have 100s of T-72s that are going to be retired. We should modify some of them to above, dual 120 mm soft recoil gun carriers, and some to autonomous kamikazi vehicles.

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby arun » 26 Jan 2017 09:07

This Republic Day gallantry awards will be given to Special Force members involved in the cross LoC boots on the ground surgical strikes on Mohammadden Terrorist launch-pads setup by the uniformed Jihadi’s of the Punjabi dominated military of the Mohammadden Terrorist Fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Mohammadden Terrorist Fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Here it may be noted that while the citations say nothing about cross Loc Boots on the Ground Surgical Strikes to maintain secrecy of operational details, “official sources confirmed that the bulk of the awards to 4 Para SF and 9 Para SF in the list are for the surgical strikes” :

On gallantry list: Army men who carried out LoC surgical strikes

Departing from practice, the Army did not release the citations for the acts that got the honours — the operation has remained classified till date.

Written by Sushant Singh | New Delhi | Published:January 26, 2017 4:21 am

Nineteen personnel of two Special Forces (SF) battalions which carried out surgical strikes along the Line of Control (LoC) last September were decorated Wednesday with gallantry awards, including a Kirti Chakra and five Shaurya Chakra, on the eve of the Republic Day.

Departing from practice, the Army did not release the citations for the acts that got the honours — the operation has remained classified till date.

Major Rohit Suri of 4 Para SF was awarded the Kirti Chakra while Colonel Kapil Yadav, Commanding Officer of 9 Para SF, and Colonel Harpreet Sandhu, Commanding Officer of 4 Para SF, were awarded the Yudh Seva Medal for the operation.

The list of awards for these two units includes a Kirti Chakra, India’s second highest peacetime gallantry award after the Ashok Chakra, five Shaurya Chakra, the third highest peacetime gallantry award, and 13 Sena Medal for gallantry.

Besides these awards, 12 men from these units have been given Mention in Despatches which is meant to recognise distinguished and meritorious service in operational areas and acts of gallantry.

The Army did not release the citations of the awarded personnel. An official source said: “Every citation contains the description of the qualifying act, and putting that out will let everything be known about the operation, including tactics. Special Forces operations have to be kept secret. We also did not release citations for gallantry awards after the operations in Myanmar in 2015.”

The two SF battalions are also deployed for counter-insurgency duties in Jammu and Kashmir and some of the awards to the personnel could possibly be for operations against terrorists. But official sources confirmed that the bulk of the awards to 4 Para SF and 9 Para SF in the list are for the surgical strikes.

The two units struck at terror launch pads along the LoC on September 29 last year, in response to a terror attack on the Uri Army camp on September 18, which led to the death of 19 Army soldiers. ……………….


From Indian Express here:

On gallantry list: Army men who carried out LoC surgical strikes

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Aditya G » 01 Feb 2017 00:45

https://www.google.co.in/amp/m.ndtv.com ... oid-lenovo

Exclusive: In Close Combat, A Major Led Team In Surgical Strike, They Killed 4
Written by Vishnu Som | Updated: Jan 30, 2017 20:12 IST

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Aditya G » 01 Feb 2017 00:46

https://www.google.co.in/amp/m.economic ... oid-lenovo

Surgical strikes: First official details on how Indian soldiers targeted Pakistani bunkers
By Manu Pubby, ET Bureau | 31 Jan, 2017, 0641 hrs IST

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby ranjan.rao » 28 Feb 2017 05:35

http://thestrategictimes.com/samyukta-ew-system-used-jam-communication-pakistan-surgical-strike-conducted-indian-army-september-2016/

SAMYUKTA is a joint programme of DRDO and Indian Army. This programme is software and integration intensive and meant for indigenous development of an integrated EW system covering 1.5 MHz 40 GHz. A stand-alone jammer (SAJ) after completing evaluation in the factory, has been evaluated in the field by users and inputs from this evaluation are being incorporated in electronic counter measure (ECM) for non-com segment, in all three frequency bands namely low, mid and high bands. With this development, ECM for non-com segment has been completed and entities are under evaluation. The system comprises vehicles having the capabilities for surveillance, interception, monitoring, analysis and jamming of all communication and radar signals.
Each system operates on 145 ground mobile vehicles which has three communication and two non-communication segments and can cover an area of 150 km by 70 km. System has the capability for surveillance, analysis, interception, direction finding, and position fixing, listing, prioritising and jamming of all communication and radar signals from HF to MMW. Its functions include various ELINT, COMINT and electronic attack(ECM) activities. This system will ensure dominance over electro-magnetic spectrum which basically means it will jam enemy surveillance signals and voice and radar signals while ensuring its own signals are not jammed by the enemy. It is capable of handling both ground-based and airborne threats. It has the capability to intercept, detect, search, identify and locate complex communication and radar signals. It monitors and analyses communication and radar activity across Forward Edge of the Battle Area (FEBA) and many other sophisticated features.

It is believed that Samyukta was used to jam all the communication of Pakistan at the surgical strike conducted by the Indian army in September 2016

while speculative, but if they used it the level of details that went into surgical strike is amazing

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Ankit Desai » 28 Feb 2017 07:50

Sorry for rant but some one educate Ajai Shukla with above info. I still hold brief with him about questioning the strike so stopped visiting his blogs, articles.

-Ankit

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Aditya_V » 28 Feb 2017 13:07

Ankit Desai wrote:Sorry for rant but some one educate Ajai Shukla with above info. I still hold brief with him about questioning the strike so stopped visiting his blogs, articles.

-Ankit


Do you really think Ajai Shukla does not know?? Nothing can change such persons.

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby rkhanna » 28 Feb 2017 13:39

wait! How do we know if the system was or not used. the strategictimes is a blog post nothing more. its by the people running INDRA on fb.

If it was the information has no business being in the public domain.

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Aditya G » 10 Sep 2017 16:15

Tactical details finally emerging, thanks to book by Shiv Aroor and Rahul Singh.

Goose bumps stuff.

The casualty free experience of the 2015 and 2016 surgical strikes has set an unfair expectation. Lay person will tend to believe that the commandos sneaked in, fired a few rockets and escaped in cover of night and forest. Clearly this could have gone totally south if a couple of boys were shot and immobile .... the whole party could have been killed or captured. We have crossed one frontier with SS, but for next time we need to be ready for "hot extraction" as well. FWIW, Parrikar in an interview had mentioned that choppers were on stand by in case.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/ ... t-4837059/

The surgical strikes across the LoC were precise and conducted at frenetic pace but the major, who led the daredevil mission, said that the return was the most difficult part and bullets fired by the enemy soldiers were so close that these were whistling past the ears. The Army Major speaks about the stunning mission in a new book being brought out on the first anniversary of surgical strikes in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

The officer is referred to as Major Mike Tango in the book, titled “India’s Most Fearless: True Stories of Modern Military Heroes”. The Army had decided to use soldiers from the units that had suffered losses in the Uri attack for the elaborate revenge mission.

A Ghatak platoon was formed and soldiers from the two units that had lost men were roped in to man border posts and provide crucial terrain intelligence and support to the mission that lay ahead. “Tactically, this was a smart move – few knew the lay of the frontier land better than they did. But there was another astute reason. “Involving them in the mission would at least begin to lay the ghosts of Uri to rest,” says the book.

About the details of the planning, it says, “The target list was scrutinised along a top-secret chain of command that numbered barely a handful of people, with ‘need to know’ rules applicable throughout. “The options were vetted by designated officers from the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing, before a final recommended brief was presented to the government.”

Maj. Tango was entrusted with the job of leading the operation to carry out the strikes. “As team Leader, Maj. Tango had chosen every man himself, including the officers and men who would play a supporting role. He was also acutely aware of the fact that the lives of 19 men were, quite literally, in his hands,” the book says.

Though Maj. Tango chose the best men for the job, one thing was bothering him – the de-induction or the return. “That’s where I knew I could lose guys,” the book quotes him as recalling. “Even the actual attack was not something that flustered the commandos. It was the return, an uphill trek to the LoC that was the truly daunting part.

“Their backs would be facing a blaze of fire from Pakistan Army posts, belatedly roused from their slumber. And the dominant position held by the posts would make the escaping warriors easy targets to spot and kill,” the book says. A total of four terror launch pads operated by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and protected by the Pakistan Army were selected.

“Through a series of masked communications over mobile, Maj. Tango’s men contacted four ‘assets’- two local villagers in PoK and two Pakistani nationals operating in the area -both moles in the dreaded Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group, men who had been turned by Indian agencies a few years before.

“All the four assets separately confirmed the target information that was placed before them. In terms of intelligence, there was nothing further for the team to do on this side of the LoC,” the book says.

The book, written by Shiv Aroor and Rahul Singh and published by Penguin India, tells 14 true stories of extraordinary courage and fearlessness, providing a glimpse into the kind of heroism India’s soldiers display in unthinkably hostile conditions and under grave provocation.

The mission was brief – the soldiers were expected to reach their targets, study the latest intelligence they could possibly access with their satellite devices and then proceed to wipe out every man they saw there, the book says.
The weapons and equipment were then finalised.

“Maj. Tango would be armed with his M4A1 5.56-mm carbine, the rest of the assault team with a mix of M4A1s and standard-issue Israeli Tavor TAR-21 assault rifles, Instalaza C90 disposable grenade launchers and Galil sniper rifles. Batteries on night-vision equipment were checked and other devices were charged too,” the book says.

Two of the terror launch pads identified as targets for Maj. Tango’s team were well inside PoK and roughly 500 metres away from each other, it says.

“Each launch pad is really a transit staging area for terrorist infiltrators before they are sent across the LoC. Both launch pads were close to Pakistan Army posts for logistical and administrative purposes. ISI handlers would often visit these launch pads before infiltration attempts,” according the book.

“From the moment the firefight began until the last bullet was fired, it had been just over an hour. The frenetic pace of the assault meant the teams, now united after the split attack on two launch pads, would prepare to leave with only a very rough estimate of the number of terrorists they had managed to kill: 20. The figure would be corroborated days later by India’s external intelligence.

“A total of 38-40 terrorists and two Pakistan Army personnel were killed at the four targets. The three separate teams had simultaneously struck 4 launch pads across the LoC. Their entry into PoK had been coordinated and precisely timed,” it says.

As for the return, the major decided to take not the route used to enter PoK but a different path that was longer and more circuitous, but comparatively safe. But while the Indian soldiers were returning, the Pakistan Army posts opened fire with everything they had -enraged by the cross-border strike.

“At one point, the bullets were so close, they were whistling past our ears. There’s a familiar put-put sound when rounds fly very close to your head,” Maj. Tango recalls. “If I were a foot taller, I would have been hit many times over.” During the circuitous escape, the men were frequently flat on the ground as trees in their path were shredded to bits by hails of ammunition, the book says.

“A particularly vulnerable 60-metre patch in the de-induction route gave the commandos their closest call. Still flat on their bellies, but with no natural feature hiding them, they needed to slither the full distance without being hit. Crossing in pairs as ammunition hit the ground inches from them, Maj. Tango’s team made it to the LoC before the sun was up, finally crossing it at 0430 hours.”
:eek:

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby sum » 10 Sep 2017 16:22

Heart stopping stuff but i wonder why there was no cover fire from Indian side of LoC authorised on the return path?
All the Paki posts in that path should have been pounded to keep their heads down till our guys made it back

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Supratik » 10 Sep 2017 20:48


srinebula
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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby srinebula » 10 Sep 2017 21:00

Is there any reason why details like weapons carried by the men is being revealed? Isn't it better to keep such details confidential?

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Hari Seldon » 10 Sep 2017 21:13

srinebula wrote:Is there any reason why details like weapons carried by the men is being revealed? Isn't it better to keep such details confidential?


Maybe so. Or it could be misinformation. Why assume our side can't play the same game.

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby srinebula » 10 Sep 2017 21:23

Hari Seldon wrote:
srinebula wrote:Is there any reason why details like weapons carried by the men is being revealed? Isn't it better to keep such details confidential?


Maybe so. Or it could be misinformation. Why assume our side can't play the same game.


I did think of the possibility of it being misinformation, but I can't think of any benefit of providing deliberate misinformation in a book that is telling part of our history;

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby vnms » 11 Sep 2017 04:44

Does it really matter what types of rifles were used? Would tactics (defensive) change based on the type of assault rifle/carbines? I don't know.

And I assume that experienced personnel can identify rifles based on their sound.

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby manjgu » 11 Sep 2017 10:51

i can bet the pakis know who the major is... what weapons they carried... they must have been working overtime to get this and other sundry info. what weapons were carried will not be a secret to anyone... with shooting..bombs going around ..no one would care for the sound...to identify weapons..

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Thakur_B » 11 Sep 2017 11:35

The rifles used would be easily identified by picking up spent cartridges. Even same cartridges fired from different make of guns would have different indentations/marks due to firing pin impact pressure, marks left by chamber, location and size of extractor etc.

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Gaur » 11 Sep 2017 11:47

The equipment which article mentions are M4, Tavor, Galil Sniper Rifle, C90 grenades. The fact that PARA SF uses them is open source and widely known information. So what's the fuss?

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Singha » 11 Sep 2017 11:49

discovery has a pgm on commando school belgaum starting 29th sept iirc

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby nam » 11 Sep 2017 16:16

So fundamentally it was a Rambo mission. Since the location was known, it could have been taken out by artillery or airstrike.

Looks like the idea to was to convey to PA, India will carry out intrusion and they need to spend resources like we do on defending it.

I hope we are doing more regular intrusion. PA needs to build more defenses. Once they in place, we pound them by artillery!

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby sunnyP » 14 Sep 2017 00:51

Should we really be disclosing this kind of stuff?

Image

http://www.wionews.com/amp/india-news/r ... ikes-20053

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Kashi » 14 Sep 2017 05:35

Could be smoke and mirrors to sow confusion in the enemy ranks...

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby sum » 14 Sep 2017 05:51

^^ Already the Zakir Musa group and HM cadre are fighting over on SM about who is sold out to the IA ( due to the unusual large hunting numbers this season).

So could just be a similar ploy here to stir the pot more among the faithfools inside PoK

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby UlanBatori » 14 Sep 2017 05:58

I think RAA should name a few too. For instance it is well-known that Salahuddin of H-u-M (POK branch) was turned many years ago, and has been regularly passing info on recruits trying to cross the Yellow Sea. Some 250 of the 700 headless corpses sent down the Sutlej each year should "credited" to him. Likewise, Haffez Saeed's close confidant (I won't name him here..)

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Aditya G » 14 Sep 2017 14:31

sunnyP wrote:Should we really be disclosing this kind of stuff?

Image

http://www.wionews.com/amp/india-news/r ... ikes-20053


I got uncomfortable as well as HUMINT lives are on stake. I think they could have kept in dry as "Cross border spies confirmed the location" or so.

Having said that all armies assume there are informers and spies especially in border areas. Maybe Pak Army will not be surprised if they read it.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/columns/s ... l1LmJ.html

...

Transborder intelligence sources are usually double agents. When acting as guides for infiltrating terrorists they tend to give up those deemed as cannon fodder by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) – the old, infirm and sick and those categorised as unreliable. The aim is to focus the Indian security forces’ gaze on the designated group in order to protect the actual, high-value terrorists. The test of an intelligence officer’s acumen and analytical ability is to be able to gauge which groups are high-value and which are being served up as decoys. Guides do a detailed reconnaissance of likely routes of ingress/egress on the LOC. Factors to be considered include the degree of observation from Indian posts and where bends of nullahs (watercourses) are situated. Security forces personnel are always on the lookout for people wandering about what seems to be aimless in forward areas.

...


http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/si ... DVCBL.html

...

Intelligence operatives function under onerous conditions, working in civil clothes, without protection and courting death at every step.

...


MI is a silent operator whos contributions we will never hear about it in full detail...

Image

Military intelligence operatives work in civil clothes but are always alert to attacks. Colonel Bipin Pathak armed with an assault rifle ready to carry out a raid, somewhere in Kashmir, circa early 2000s.(Colonel Bipin Pathak )

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Manish_P » 14 Sep 2017 14:57

Request posters to desist from putting photos of sensitive nature / personnel

It is particulary dangerous in these time of a whole lot of information being available on the internet

PS: the photo of the good colonel reminded me of the saying - "Beware of an old man in a profession where men usually die young.."

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Aditya G » 21 Sep 2017 00:12



Must watch ... interesting commentary by panelists and Rahul Singh on his meeting with SF Major.

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Aditya G » 21 Sep 2017 01:02

Lots of updates going around thanks to 1st anniversary. Some thoughts:

- Military operations have now become part of mainstream conversations. Books, interviews and talk shows have ensured a lot of detail is now available to lay folk. I think its time we acknowledge work done by defence journos in India.

- 2015 Myanmar cross border strikes may not seem very significant, but the success there laid the ground work and psychological prep for political and military leadership.

- We haven't heard a single line about the Air Force side of the story. At minimum they would have been on standby for the hot extract and also monitoring via UAVs.

- The surgical strikes, coupled with Op All Out in 2017 have brought significant reverses to militancy in J&K. It is important that public feels GoI is winning - that perception then feedback via better intelligence as the people want to be on the winning side.

- Professional competency of IA being brought out. The narrative has changed to military successes and victories rather than just veerta and balidan.

- Modi govt is consistently delivering the goods on national security;

2014: strong retaliation to CFV
2015: Myanmar strikes
2016: surgical strikes
2017: publicly disclose LoC retaliation, doklam handling, free hand in COIN campaign, breaking back of stone pelters funding

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Aditya G » 21 Sep 2017 01:21

http://thediplomat.com/2017/09/the-insi ... ign=buffer

The following is an excerpt from Nitin A. Gokhale’s new book, Securing India the Modi Way: Pathankot, Surgical Strikes and More. It is published here with permission from Bloomsbury Publishing India.

For Col H and Col K (names withheld), the moment of reckoning arrived on the afternoon of 18 September 2016. Throughout that morning, the Commanding Officers (COs) of two separate Para (Special Forces) battalions were like most of their colleagues posted in Kashmir Valley, following the increasingly grim news coming out of Uri, the garrison town not very far from Srinagar. Well-trained and well-informed terrorists of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) had infiltrated across the Line of Control (LoC) and attacked an administrative camp in the 12 Brigade HQ located in Uri with deadly effect. At least 19 soldiers of 6 Bihar battalion, camping in tents — days before they were to take their assigned positions along the LoC — were killed in the early morning attack. Majority of the soldiers died in their sleep, resting as they were in highly inflammable tents. Although all the four terrorists were neutralised eventually, they had set off a chain of events that would culminate on the morning of 29 September.

In Udhampur, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen DS Hooda was distressed. He had been the GOC-in-C for over two years and witnessed his share of successes and setbacks as the head of India’s most active Army command. Nevertheless, this was possibly the worst moment of his long and distinguished career, spent fighting insurgencies and terrorism in the north-east as well as Jammu & Kashmir. “It was terrible. Very difficult to justify what happened. There were definitely lapses on our part,” Hooda says in retrospect.

But an Army Commander doesn’t have the luxury of wallowing in his own state of mind. He has to set an example by leading from the front. As he accompanied Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh to Uri, Hooda knew the time had come to implement a plan, the seeds of which had vaguely taken shape in his mind some fifteen months ago. Even Gen Dalbir, aware of how the Prime Minister’s mind worked, was thinking of something different.

Gen Dalbir was drawing on his experience during the cross-border raid in Myanmar more than a year previously when the PM had quietly authorised the strike against north-east militants holed up in the jungles of Manipur-Myanmar border after killing 18 Indian soldiers. Gen Dalbir had a hunch then that the Prime Minister may demand a Myanmar-like action if push came to shove in J&K. Cut to mid-June in 2015. In June 2015, it was under his watch as Army Chief that the soldiers of a Para SF unit of the Indian Army, based in the north-east, had carried out a precise attack on an NSCN (K) camp located inside Myanmar and eliminated at least 60 insurgents in the process. While the cross-border raid inside Myanmar was making waves and dividing opinion (see separate chapter), discussions in TV studios in India centred around the possibility of similar raids against Pakistan. Minister of State of Information & Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Rathore told TV anchors that the option of cross-border raids against Pakistan are a possibility. He also told Indian Express in June 2015: “This is a message for all countries, including Pakistan, and groups harbouring terror intent towards India. A terrorist is a terrorist and has no other identity. We will strike when we want to.”

The success of Myanmar operations had planted the seed of thought about a surgical strike in Pakistan in everyone’s mind. Once during his visit to the Northern Command, then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar too had exhorted top commanders to be prepared for every eventuality. “Although I didn’t spell it out explicitly, I knew some day a grave provocation by Pakistan may require a Myanmar-like operation. So I told the Army Chief and his senior commanders to look at every possible response,” Parrikar recalls. On his part, Lt Gen Hooda called the two COs (Col H and Col K) and told them that they needed to start looking at targets across the LoC, although frankly at that point in time (June 2015) neither Gen Dalbir, nor Lt Gen Hooda or the political leadership would have thought of such an eventuality arising. Till then, the thinking at the highest levels of India’s political and military leadership was any major trans-LoC strike would be deemed escalatory. Remember, in Kargil, the Vajpayee government had imposed the strict restriction of NOT crossing the LoC in spite of a grave provocation.

“I thought to myself, if tomorrow someone asks us to go, how can I, as Northern Army Commander say we are not prepared?” Hooda remembers thinking. Gen Dalbir says: “From my experience in planning and executing the Myanmar raids, I wanted my commanders to make sure that any cross-border raid should be carried out with minimum casualties. My instructions were, not one single soldier should be left behind in enemy territory even if we suffered any setback.” Hence, in the immediate aftermath of the Myanmar operation, the two COs were told to seriously plan to hit targets inside PoK. Other senior officers in Northern Command’s planning staff also held discussions a couple of times with the MO (Military Operations Directorate at the Army HQ). They identified targets, looking for more intelligence inputs on them, and consolidating a thought process in the presence of the Army Chief and the Northern Army Commander.

But were not cross-border raids carried out earlier too, I asked Gen Dalbir. “Yes, they were,” he agreed “but most actions taken in our younger days were, what we call, BAT (Border Action Team) raids on specific post(s) as retribution for something that the Pakistan Army troops would have carried out on our position(s),” he said. “What we were now planning for was much larger with greater ramifications,” he explained.

For two months in the winter of 2015, the two battalions trained as whole units after years of operating in small, agile teams against terrorists in J&K. This training was to prove crucial in sharpening the set of skills needed for raids across the LoC.

In a way, it was like revisiting their basic tenets for the Special Forces men. And they loved it. Although no one could have anticipated that they would be called in to strike across the LoC, the very thought of crossing a line that was seen as taboo motivated the troops further. Indeed for over two decades no one at the highest political level had ever expressed willingness to sanction, or had demanded such an action inside PoK for the fear of escalation. “The two to two-and-a-half months that these boys spent together helped them hone their skills in surveying targets, mount surveillance, practising infiltration and exfiltration, which in the final analysis helped them achieve what was asked of them,” a senior officer in MO Directorate, privy to the development now agrees, looking back at that decision. As a result of the reorientation, by the time the summer of 2016 arrived, the two battalions had added an extra edge to their repertory of formidable skills. However, no one—not even the most imaginative scriptwriter in Bollywood — could have anticipated the events as they unfolded in September 2016.

Across the board, the langar gup (mess gossip) was full of frustration and rage. I remember speaking to some middle level officers posted in J&K in the immediate aftermath of the Uri incident. The anger was palpable. “If this is not the last straw, what is,” many of them wondered aloud when the possibility of the Indian army’s retaliation was discussed. NSA Doval too remembers Prime Minister Modi telling him: “This attack should not go without a response.” Gen Dalbir adds: “During one of the meetings in the immediate aftermath of Uri, the Prime Minister said the retaliation should be immediate to send an unambiguous message.” Parrikar, Doval and Gen Dalbir however knew they had to plan for several contingencies before attempting a Myanmar-style cross-border raid. For one, unlike on the Myanmar border, the Pakistani forces strung all along the LoC were on highest alert in the wake of the Uri attack. The terrorists would have also been told to lie low and shifted to camps located farther away from the LoC so that hitting those targets would have become harder. Moreover, no matter how remote the possibility, India had to wargame the likely escalation by Pakistan if retribution was ordered.

The Pressure Builds Up

The week of the Uri attack was also a testing time for the Prime Minister’s leadership. Modi, adept at judging the public mood, was aware that people expected him to “walk the talk” in acting tough against India’s implacable enemy. Public opinion in the country was inflamed. People were calling for an all-out war against Pakistan. Even saner voices were advocating at least some demonstrable retribution. Modi was aware of the public sentiment and the anger that was building up in popular perception. He vowed immediate retribution. “I assure the nation that those behind this despicable attack will not go unpunished,” he tweeted on the day of the Uri attack. Not many people took the statement at face value. After all, politicians and prime ministers in the past had pledged stern action against terrorists and their handlers many times, but had ultimately refrained from giving that final go ahead required to retaliate, urging restraint instead.

Amidst all the criticism, the Prime Minister continued to be unruffled. Recall his aides: “The PM went through with his daily routine and pre-scheduled appointments and programmes without any change, but made sure he had all possible options presented to him before giving the final go ahead (for a punitive strike against Pakistan).” All options, economic, political, and diplomatic were considered. They ranged from downgrading diplomatic ties, revisiting the provisions of the Indus Water Treaty, mobilising international opinion by furnishing proof of Pakistan’s complicity in terrorist attacks, and of course punish Pakistan militarily. But he was not about to be rushed into any hasty decision. The Prime Minister however made up his mind by 23 September, five days after the Uri attack. Later that evening, he and Doval, escorted by a Major General from the MO Directorate, walked the length of the South Block Corridor from the PMO to the Army HQ Ops room around 2100 hours, much long after the corridors had been emptied and offices had closed. Already present in the room were Defence Minister Parrikar, Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh, DGMO, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, and a couple of MO Directorate senior functionaries. The PM sat through the briefing silently, listening with rapt attention. He was presented various options, shown targets that were planned to be hit inside PoK, and briefed on the possible retaliation/ reaction by Pakistan. Once the initial briefing was over, Modi had a couple of questions on other possible options like a precise air strike on terrorist camps, remembers a participant. Eventually, the Prime Minister agreed that a Special Forces raid across the frontier was the best possible course of action at that point, the participant added.

As one week passed after the Uri attack, the debates tapered off; people seemed resigned to live with the bitter fact that the situation in J&K and on the LoC would continue to be volatile with the Indian army unable to take any deterrent steps. Little did anyone know that India was about to unleash unprecedented and audacious cross-border strikes.

Once the political call was taken, the wheels began to move faster. In Udhampur, the Ops room was buzzing with activity. Now was the time to bring the two Corps Commanders of 15 and 16 Corps in the loop.

Accordingly, Lt Gens Satish Dua and RR Nimborhkar, heading the Srinagar-based Chinar and Nagrota-based White Knight Corps respectively, were also brought on board.

Col H and Col K meanwhile were back to their respective bases. They had much to do. Both had finalised the targets, but the men had to be selected for different tasks, although in their mind they had already earmarked some key personnel the previous winter when the entire units were training together.

As Col H remembers, “Most of our reorientation took place in the mind; we were crossing a threshold that had been embedded in the mind: thus far and no further. Now we were being asked to do a job that had not been undertaken in decades.” Adds Col K: “Our boys always had the skills, but they had applied the skills to a different set of circumstances, not the task we were about to undertake. However, due to our practice and reorientation, they were at the peak of their skills.” They were, like many Indian Army Officers before them posted along the LoC, aware of one-off, shallow raids launched by different infantry units into PoK. But all of them were individual punitive actions and not large-scale planned operations like the one that was being contemplated now.

The tasks were diverse. Teams had to be formed accordingly. Over the past quarter century, the Indian Army had created a strong network of intelligence operatives in the valley and within various tanzeems based in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK). Post the Uri attack and around the time when the surgical strike was being finalised, Northern Command tapped a couple of sources in Hizbul Mujahideen, located in the general area of Anantnag, to obtain more information about the layout of Pakistani camps, and the possible routes that could be taken both to enter and exit PoK. These inputs were crucial to plan strategy and form teams for different tasks like mounting secret surveillance, raid the camps, and for guiding the troops back safely. They also had to do last minute rechecking of targets to make sure that the terrorists were still holed up there and launch pads were not emptied out after the Uri attack.

So what were the thoughts that were going through their minds as they prepared to launch the strikes, I asked the two Commanding Officers.

Looking back, with a quiet sense of pride in their eyes, both the officers recalled their state of mind: “We knew we had to hit the adversary so hard that he would be humiliated. There was no time for half-measures, no place for token gestures,” recounted Col K. His colleague added: “This is what we train for: That one chance to deliver a blow so lethal that the enemy will constantly think about it when planning any misadventure.”

Accordingly, the COs were told that the intent of the cross-border strikes was two-fold: inducing fear and extracting revenge. Simultaneously, total destruction of terrorist infrastructure directly opposite Uri was planned so that those who had launched the attack on 18 September would get the right message. “The idea was to let them know that we know where you are based and where you launch your attacks from and more importantly, we know where to hit you.

The message had to go up to Muzzafarabad (the capital of PoK),” Col H said, reflecting upon the week in the run up to the actual operation.

The wait was now getting shorter. It was finally over on 28 September.

That afternoon, Lt Gen Hooda signalled the launch of Operation X when he called both Col H and Col K. Separately, he wished them a simple “good luck” and told them to go ahead and complete the assigned task.

Teams surged forward by late evening, poised on the edge of the LoC, ready to cross over later that night.

Back in Delhi, Gen Dalbir briefed NSA Doval about the mission plan and worked out a mechanism to update him as and when he received inputs from the ground.

“The die was cast now. The onus was on the Army that I was leading to deliver. But I was confident of our success,” Gen Dalbir recalls. Parrikar, meanwhile, was separately briefed about the roll-out of the action plan by the Army Chief.

OPERATION X

28-29 September 2016, J&K

From here onward, teams led by Col K and Col H were on their own. All of it depended on their skills, daring, ingenuity, and above all, determination to succeed in whether they would accomplish the task assigned to them.

There was no looking back now.

The operation, called Operation X in conversation but not officially named as such, was being monitored at Army HQ in Delhi, at the Northern Command HQ in Udhampur, and at Nagrota and Srinagar, the HQs of 16 and 15 Corps respectively.

As Prime Time television debates across different news channels were just about winding down, Col K’s teams were making their way to the LoC. Col K, assigned to target camps south of the Pir Panjal range, led his teams across the LoC around midnight. In four hours, they were in close proximity of the objectives. Having bypassed some of the outposts close to the LoC on the Pakistani side, the teams were now truly behind enemy lines.

Barring one minor injury, Operation X had gone off with clockwork precision. Complete surprise was achieved, resulting in the higher fatalities in the camps-cum-launch pads of the Pakistanis. It also validated many conceptual plans made over the years for trans-LoC operations.

So what was the death count? I asked the two COs.

Both were candid, admitting they didn’t stop to count the dead. “That was neither our remit nor the objective of the strike. We had been given a job to destroy selected targets to send a message. In light of which we performed to the best of our abilities. We can’t give you exact figures. No one can, but what we saw with our eyes in those moments, tells us that we would have accounted for at least 70–75 fellows combined,” both Col K and H tell me. Later that day, radio chatter from across the LoC reportedly confirmed at least 80 fatalities in the camps that were hit by Indian Special Forces.

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Aditya G » 21 Sep 2017 01:48

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/ ... 1981/lite/

As we near the first anniversary of surgical strikes, can we now know from you what really happened?

I know many books are coming out on the surgical strikes but many aspects remain classified and therefore I really can’t go into details. But broadly what happened was that we went across the Line of Control at multiple places under Pakistan’s 10 Corps and caught them by total surprise. It embarrassed the Pakistan Army so much that their immediate action was denial. And it shocked them so much that they went overboard in their reaction… Denial of leave to their soldiers, panicky messages about where the Indian Army could strike next, and very amateurish attempts to cover up the fact that they had been caught napping.

What gave you sleepless nights when you decided upon the operation and when you were in the operations room as Special Forces were inside PoK?

The night that we were seeing the scenes of the surgical strike play out on our operations room screen was the most tense. To me the crucial part about the operation was not about the number of terrorists killed but the safe return of all our soldiers.

The operation was very complex with multiple targets to be struck on the same night, each with a unique profile. The difference in time between striking the first and last target was in hours. It was such an uplifting feeling when reports started coming in about different groups safely returning across the Line of Control. Daybreak had already broken by the time the last of our soldiers were back and so that one night was definitely sleepless.

The weight of authority is not easy. I was clear that the responsibility for the operation lay with my headquarters in Udhampur. The Army headquarters had given us complete freedom to plan the operation and any flaws in carrying out the strike were therefore mine. We spent a lot of time in discussing and refining the plans but when national prestige and lives of men are at stake, the worry of failure, however small, does constantly eat at you.

Have the goals of counter-terrorism, counter-infiltration and reduced violence in Kashmir, that were set for surgical strikes, been met?

The Army in Kashmir is a realist. The surgical strike goals were not really about finishing terrorism in Kashmir or drying up infiltration. It was about the range of our response to terrorism emanating from Pakistan. The signal that we wanted to send was that we would not limit our actions only on our side of the border but also hit Pakistan in their territory. This message was sent successfully and we scored a definite moral victory.

The strikes also had a very positive impact on our own soldiers. We had had a serious setback in the attack on the Uri garrison, and questions were being raised about our casualties and preparedness levels. Our soldiers also needed to see that the loss of their lives would not go unpunished.

Can India do another surgical strike tomorrow, if there is another Uri-like terror strike? Or should be wary of Pakistani retaliation? Were you wary of retaliation after the strikes?

Of course, we were wary of retaliation. But the moment Pakistan refused to acknowledge the strike, we knew we had won the moral battle. Pakistan did step up infiltration and we had incidents of mutilation of soldiers but those were tactical actions to regain some lost ground. I wish these incidents had not happened but the Line of Control is a brutal place and these are the realities. Incidentally, our response to the mutilation was very strong and completely directed at the Pakistani Army.

Can we do another surgical strike? The answer is a resounding Yes. In some ways, the glass ceiling has been shattered. The Special Forces have gained tremendous confidence in their ability to execute a complex operation in very hostile territory. They have been exposed to the planning processes that go into making such operations a success. These are major positives.

Should we do a surgical strike after the next terror attack? Each situation is different and no templates can be put. I think we have added one more serious option in our range of responses.

Looking back after a year, is there anything you would do differently about the surgical strikes?

How do you measure success? To me, it was both about executing the task and returning safely. We had to kill terrorists. But hundred terrorists killed and one soldier left behind would have been a failure.

The operation was a complete success and so I really would not touch any part of the plan and do it differently. There were many who contributed — Corps commanders, my Chief of Staff, the operations and intelligence branch under an outstanding Major General, and the Air Force. However, the biggest credit obviously belongs to those who slipped across the Line of Control and put their lives on the line. They carried on their shoulders not only our hopes of success but also the heavier burden of failure. They were outstanding.

Many trans-LoC operations have been conducted when you were in service, and as you are aware, some of them have gone even deeper inside PoK than the surgical strikes. Why are the surgical strikes then so significant or unique?

The biggest difference from earlier strikes was the fact that the government had decided to nationally acknowledge the operation. When there is an element of deniability, failures could go unreported. We did not have that luxury. Also the scale at which it happened, multiple strikes across the Jammu and Kashmir regions, had not been attempted before. I think these two factors make last year’s surgical strikes somewhat unique. Of course, uniqueness does not last, as indeed it should not. We must find different ways to keep an adversary under pressure.
First Published on: September 20, 2017 7:01 am

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Aditya G » 21 Sep 2017 01:54

http://www.business-standard.com/articl ... 92000996_1

The cross-LOC surgical strike last year was carried out by Indian troops to send across a "strong message" to Pakistan, which could not have been conveyed through other means, former General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Army's Northern Command Lt. General D.S. Hooda (retd) has said.

Hooda, who oversaw the September 2016 attack across the Line of Control in Pakistan as then head of the Northern Command, told news channel NDTV that they were also prepared for retaliation from Pakistan's side but it did not happen.

Asked why the Indian Army chose to go across the LoC to destroy the terror launch pads instead of using air attack or any long-range attack weapon, Hooda said those attacks would not have sent across the same message.

"I think a strong message has to be sent sometimes. You can say you could have done it from air, from long-range artillery... I think a message had to be sent out, a strong message had to be sent out," Hooda told the news channel.

"After the June 2015 strike (by the Indian Army across India-Myanmar border), a lot of statements had come from Pakistan -- from their Interior Minister as also their official spokesperson -- which said Pakistan is not Myanmar, and we will give a befitting reply if India resorts to any adventurism. Those were the kind of statements that were made.

"Once the surgical strike was carried out, they just went totally quiet. :rotfl: I think that was more of a moral victory," he said.


"The kind of message we wanted to send across, I don't think could have been done by strikes from afar."

Asked whether they anticipated any retaliation, Hooda said: "We had, and why not? It would be unprofessional to say there will be no retaliation, and that we shouldn't plan for it."

"We were prepared, we were ready. But, as I said, I think the Pakistanis were quite shell-shocked. The minute they said surgical strike did not happen, we knew that a response from their side will at best be very very limited," the retired Lt General said.
.....

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Aditya G » 21 Sep 2017 01:57

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/was-watc ... ai-rum=off

When Lieutenant General DS Hooda, then Northern Army Commander, saw the live video feed of India's surgical strike across the Line of Control, he knew he wasn't necessarily getting the full picture.

"I won't say what footage it was but we were watching the operation,"
said the Lt General who approved the plans for Special Forces to retaliate less than two weeks after the Uri terror attack in September last year, when 19 Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistani terrorists.

"Whatever footage you may get, it doesn't give you a very detailed picture of what is happening on the ground. You see black figures running, and whether it is our soldier or whether it is terrorists - it's difficult to make out but the way things were going - broadly we could make out from the footage we were viewing that things were going as had been planned," said the General, confirming hand-to-hand fighting between army commandos and Pakistani terrorists and army.

"The Special Forces had gotten into places where they were confident they could cause maximum number of casualties so they had to get fairly close to where the camps were and there were some Pakistani posts in close vicinity so that also had to be catered for so, yes, they did get into close combat," he said.

The surgical strike in the intervening night between September 28 and 29 is perhaps the most audacious Indian military operation since the Kargil war, and saw commandos of the Army's elite 4 and 9 Para Special Forces engaging multiple targets on either side of the Pir Panjal range.

19 Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistani terrorists in Uri attack in September last year.

While the government had considered air strikes, Lt General Hooda said: "After the June 15 strikes across Myanmar, a lot of statements had come out from Pakistan. Their interior minister and also their official spokesperson had said 'Pakistan is not Myanmar and we will give a befitting reply if India resorts to any adventurism.' Once the surgical strikes were carried out, they just went totally quiet and I think that was more of a moral victory."

It is clear that the army leadership had war-gamed casualties, given the scale of the operations.

It was the incredible training of the commandos that ensured that all the men got back safely to Indian territory. According to Lt General Hooda, "It wasn't so much about we shouldn't lose a single man or we shouldn't have a casualty because it would be foolish if we planned for such a large operation [to] say we will come back without any casualty - so our planning process had to take into account that there could be casualties. I think the key factor was not a single man must be left behind and that took a lot of thought, a lot of planning - if something happens and we have casualties, how would those people come back so the key element was not so much casualties as not leaving a single man behind."

If things went south, the Army was ready for whatever it took to get its commandos back. Helicopter units were on standby for extremely risky casualty evacuation missions. "Multiple plans were made... in case there was a fighting extrication, how would it actually be carried out - what assets would be required for such a contingency - whether in terms of aerial assets or whether in terms of even sending some more people across to bring our people back so that kind of planning had been put in process and we were conscious that there could be a fighting extrication."

While the operations went off perfectly with dozens of terrorists and Pakistan Army personnel being eliminated, a jawan was severely injured while crossing back. As he got word of every man having returned, Lt General Hooda also "got information that one jawan has got injured. It was actually a minefield on our side of the border and a number of minefields are not marked or mines drift so unfortunately, we had one casualty but that was not due to Pakistan action - that was an accident on our own side. A part of the leg was blown off."

While the surgical strike teams celebrated with the top military leadership in Kashmir after the successful conclusion of the surgical strikes, there was serious concern that Pakistan could retaliate, a fear that seemed to lessen after Islamabad insisted the attacks never happened. "We were [worried about retaliation] and why not? It would be unprofessional to say there would be no retaliation and that we shouldn't plan for it. We had planned for it but as I said, the Pakistanis were quite shell-shocked and the minute they said surgical strikes hadn't happened, we knew a response from their side would at best be very very limited." That response never came.

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby Gagan » 21 Sep 2017 09:07

If I may try to decipher at least some of the info available publicly now.
1. The locations of these staging points that were targeted is well known. They had the option of striking some 50 odd such camps just across the LOC. These locations are known from the steady stream of Jihadis, Couriers, Smugglers apprehended at the LOC, over several years. Patterns of infiltration, occupancy and likely handlers at these locations are well known too.
2. UAVs in the air provided a live feed to the ops room very likely. Difficult to say how many UAVs, but anywhere from3-5-6 in the air. Perhaps one UAV following a team, the others watching Pakistani Army bases for any signs of mounting resistance
3. Weapons ID matters to send a signal and proof that it was the Indian Army paying a visit. These are well known weapons with the Para SF, RR guys.

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Re: Army strikes terror camps in PoK

Postby manjgu » 21 Sep 2017 10:03

Gagan jee... who else do u think will pay the Pakis a visit on the LOC to kick their butt?? Mexican Army?? come on. I have the feeling the things on surgical strike are being opened slowly...the awards..interview of Major Tango jee.. then interview of Gen Hooda... close to next election we may even get to see the vids from drone or helmet mounted cams?? it should be interesting. As gen hooda said , the drone footage was not v clear ... figures running around..not sure if its ur or the enemy... the helmet cam vid should be more clear... fun times ahead...


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