Last night, the Indian Army carried out a series of covert operations targeting Jihadi bases along its border with Pakistan. According to official Indian sources, the counter-terrorism strikes killed 38 Islamists as well as couple of soldiers of Pakistan’s regular army, who were overseeing these Jihadi bases. Indian Special Forces went 2-3 km inside Pakistan’s border destroying up to 6 Jihadi camps. No casualties were reported on the Indian side. The strikes come less than 2 weeks after Islamists attacked an Indian Army base in India’s Kashmir region, killing 18 soldiers.

India has faced a sustained terrorist campaign in its Muslim majority northern state of Kashmir since the 1990s. Terrorists have killed nearly 5,000 Indian civilians and over 2,000 Indian soldiers since 2001. Tonight’s cross-border operation, first of its kind conducted by India, shows the change in country’s military doctrine since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office 2 years ago.

Following tonight’s strikes India has put its army along the international border with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on high alert. Indian newspaper Times of India reports:

In the first such action, India carried out surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) with the Army saying on Thursday its special forces inflicted “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Defence sources said seven terror launch pads across the [border] were destroyed by special forces of the Indian Army on the intervening night of September 28 and 29 in a nearly five-hour-long operation during which heliborne and ground forces were deployed.

The sources said the launch pads in [Pakistan-occupied Kashmir] were in the range of 2 to 3km from the [border] and were under surveillance for over one week while Union minister Venkaiah Naidu said the strikes targeted 5-6 places across the LoC along Kupwara and Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir.

Indian Army’s operation against cross-border Jihadi fighters was met with general approval in Indian press and social media. On Twitter, an Indian journalist Partha Sinha called for Israel and India to join hands in combatting terrorism.

After the deadly attack on Indian military base two weeks ago, Israel had offered its expertise to secure Indian borders. An Indian newspaper reported last week:

In the wake of the Uri attack, Israel on Friday reiterated its offer of experience and expertise to secure India’s borders. (…)

[Ambassador of Israel to Indian] Carmon said both countries shared similar challenges in border management and that Israel has solutions for these, adding that the two countries can work together taking into account the capabilities of Israeli companies and government and adapting them to Indian needs. [Indian Express September 24, 2016]

In recent years, Israel has not only emerged at India’s preferred destination for military procurement, but also has served as an inspiration for a new defense strategy in face of rising Islamist terror threat. For decades, both Israel and India have been at the forefront of Jihadi onslaught to which the Western world has not fully woken up to.

Video: Indian Army spokesman briefs media on last night’s strikes on Jihadi bases inside Pakistan

[Cover image courtesy DD News, YouTube]