Air Chief to proof-seekers: “We hit the target, govt will clarify on casualties”


(Online Desk)

Indian Air Force (IAF) chief BS Dhanoa on Monday said that the number of casualties in the Balakot air strike will be given by the government.

“We hit our target. The air force doesn’t calculate casualty numbers, the government does that,” Dhanoa said at an IAF briefing in Coimbatore.

“IAF is not in a position to clarify the number of casualties. The government will clarify that. We don’t count human casualties, we count what targets we have hit or not. We hit the target, otherwise why would he (Pak PM) have responded? If we dropped bombs in the jungles why would he respond,” he added.

He also said that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was released last week by Pakistan after his Mig-21 Bison was shot down during an aerial dogfight, will undergo medical treatment if required.

“Whether he (Wing Commander #Abhinandan) flies or not depends on his medical fitness. That’s why post ejection, he has undergone a medical check. Whatever treatment is required will be given. Once his fitness is established, he will get back into the cockpit,” the IAF chief said.

 When asked about the second-generation Mig-21 taking on the advanced F-16, Dhanoa said, “The Mig-21 Bison is a capable aircraft. It has been upgraded and has better radar, air-to air missiles and a better weapons system.”
“The Balakot strike was a planned operation. But when an adversary does a strike on you, every available fighter goes in, irrespective of which aircraft it is.  All aircraft are capable of fighting the enemy,” he remarked.