IAF says the aim of Air Strike is to hit the target not to count death toll

Last Modified Monday, 4 March 2019 (13:54 IST)
New Delhi/Coimbatore: Amid an intense war of words between opposition parties and the government on the quantum of damage done at terror camp at Balakot in Pakistan, the Indian Air Force (IAF) chief, Air chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, on Monday said the aerial strike on February 26 achieved its target and the Pakistani retaliation itself was an ample proof of it.
"We hit the target......If we had dropped bombs in the jungle, there would be no need forthem (Pakistan) to respond," Air Chief told reporters in his first media interaction since the aerial strike.
"The target has been clearly amplified by the Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale (in media statement of Feb 26)," the Air Force chief said answering questions."Of course, if we plan to hit the target, we hit the target....otherwise why he (Pakistan) would have responded.  If we had dropped bombs in the jungle, there would be no need for them (Pakistan) to respond," he said.
His remarks come amid opposition leaders including the likes of Digvijaya Singh, Kapil Sibal, Mamata Banerjee and Mehbooba Mufti questioning the authenticity of the attack.However, on how many terrorists have been killed, Air Chief Marshal said the statement will be made by the government.
"The Air Force is not in a position to clarify how many people were inside the camp. We don't count human casualties, we count what target has been hit or not hit," he said."We can't count how many people have died; that depends on how many people were there," he said.
To a question that there have been reports that the Air Force strike hit a target away from the camp, he said, "I don't know from where did you get this report".(UNI)