In February 2019, the threat of war in South Asia appeared imminent for the first time in over a decade. For the first time since 1971, India and Pakistan traded cross-border airstrikes; they also engaged in conventional clashes not seen since the 1999 Kargil War.
The latest crisis was triggered by a vehicle-borne IED attack on a convoy of paramilitary forces in the Pulwama district of Indian-administered Kashmir. India attributed the terrorist attack to the Pakistan-based group Jaish e-Mohammad (JeM) and on February 26, claimed to successfully conduct airstrikes on a JeM training camp in Pakistani territory around Balakot, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The next day, Pakistan’s air force conducted a retaliatory strike across the Line of Control (LoC) that resulted in an air battle, with the downing of an Indian fighter jet and the capture of an Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot.
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