5 IAF pilots, who bombed Jaish camp in Balakot, awarded Vayu Sena Medal

The Balakot airstrike capped days of rising tensions between India and Pakistan. The airstrike pushed Delhi and Islamabad to the brink of an armed conflict, with the Pakistan Air Force attempted retaliatory strikes a day after on February 27.

Written by Newsroom Staff August 14, 2019 17:59

New Delhi: The five Mirage-2000 Indian Air Force pilots, who bombed Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Balakot in Pakistan on 26 February following the Pulwama terror attack have been conferred the Vayu Sena Medal

What happened in Balakot?

The Balakot airstrike was seen as a response to the February 14 Pulwama suicide attack, in which 40 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed.

Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama suicide bombing.

Two weeks later, Indian Air Force’s Mirage-2000 fighter jets took off from airbases in India before dawn on February 26. The IAF jets crossed the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and targeted the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Balakot with precision, guided missiles.

The Balakot airstrike capped days of rising tensions between India and Pakistan. The airstrike pushed Delhi and Islamabad to the brink of an armed conflict, with the Pakistan Air Force attempted retaliatory strikes a day after on February 27.

Varthaman, who became the face of a tense military confrontation between India and Pakistan, is set to fly MiG-21 within a few weeks as a medical board cleared his return to fighter cockpit.

Varthaman was captured by the Pakistani Army on February 27 after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani jets during aerial combat. Before his jet was hit, he downed an F-16 fighter of Pakistan. Varthaman was released on the night of March 1 by Pakistan.