What are surgical strikes? Targetted attacks with minimum collateral damage

The Director-General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt General Ranbir Singh announced during a joint press briefing with the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday that the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads along the LoC and that significant causalities were caused.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

This comes in the aftermath of the Poonch and the Uri attacks on 11 and 18 September respectively. Evidently upset with the infiltration bids carried out by terrorists along the LoC, the DGMO said, "Despite persistent urges to Pakistan to not allow territory under its control to not be used for terrorist activities nothing was done."

For the uninitiated, a surgical strike is a quick and specific attack that aims to neutralise the other side. Minimum collateral damage is also a requirement of a surgical strike, as ZeeNews points out.

It is a type of military attack that results in only damage to the intended legitimate military target.

Precision bombing is an example of a surgical strike carried out by aircraft. According to a Financial Express report, soldiers carry out surprise and and rapid bombings on targets with aircraft.

It helps in responding to the enemy in a time-bound manner and reduces the chances of a full-scale war with later negotiations.

NDTV quoted former Air Chief Fali Homi Major as saying that a surgical strike is "a calculated manoeuvre to ensure you deliver maximum damage which gives a big surprise to your adversary".

Retired Lt General Shankar Prasad meanwhile told NDTV that the targets are movable and that a surgical strike means carrying out an attack and coming back without any damage to yourself, he said.

A report in The Indian Express points out that external intelligence is also vital to carrying out these attacks, which work closely with service intelligence departments, Intelligence Bureau and RAW.

The special operations are complex and need to be diligently planned and coordinated on various levels. Indian Army’s parachute regiments’ para-commandos are specifically trained for these strikes.

Earlier, the Indian Army had conducted calculated surgical strikes in Myanmar in June 2015, and the operation was finished within 40 minutes. It was a covert operation that left 38 Naga insurgents dead and seven injured.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Sep 29, 2016 17:25 PM

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