Satellite images of Balakot Before and After Air Strike- experts give evidence of bomb impact

Before and After pictures of the Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot area seems to depict bomb impact points on a “large structure in addition to maximum damage on the ground” at the site.

On February 26, the Indian Air Force fighter jets struck the Jaish-e-Mohammed’s Balakot terror training camp, using Mirage 2000 fighters equipped with SPICE 2000 satellite-guided bombs.

NDTV has learnt that the Indian Air Force used the “penetrator” form of the weapon, which is designed to penetrate buildings and structures but not really to bring them down.

Credits: Reuters

As per the military aviation specialist Angad Singh, “big penetrators [like the SPICE 2000] spend most of their mass on the casing”. “There is no hard and fast rule that a 2000-lb class bomb will wipe out half a hillside,” he said.

Previously on Wednesday, news agency Reuters, quoting satellite imagery experts, argued about the claim of the Indian Air Force and the GOI that they had successfully struck the Jaish-e-Mohammed’s Balakot camp.

Credits: Reuters

As per Jeffrey Lewis, Director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Project at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, “The high-resolution images don’t show any evidence of bomb damage.”

Needless to say, a closer analysis of ‘pre-blast and post-blast pictures’ hint four likely bomb entry points on the roof of the largest structure at the camp

It also shows massive changes on the ground as you can see in the picture and possibly makes-up a short distance from the building mentioned above.

Credits: Reuters

According to Colonel Vinayak Bhat who is a retired satellite imagery expert, the photographs accessed first by The Print “show four dark spots on the roof, missing tents and burnt earth but walls and buildings intact”.

NDTV has learnt that the government has detailed satellite images of the Jaish-e-Mohammed camp but it is still not clear as to why these images have not been released as yet.

The Chief of Air Staff BS Dhanoa on Monday said, “The target has been clearly amplified by the Foreign Secretary in his statement and if we planned to hit the target, we hit the target… otherwise why would they (Pakistan) have responded? If we had dropped bombs in the jungle, there would have been no need to respond.”

He said it was not up to the Indian Air Force to “count casualties” on the ground.

Government sources said that close to 300 terrorists may have been eliminated in Balakot but has not released any proof regarding the encounter.