Surgical strikes are military attacks which result in, or were intended to result in damage to the intended legitimate military target only, with no or minimal collateral damage to the surrounding structures, vehicles, buildings, or the general public infrastructure and utilities.
An extremely swift and targeted attack is carried out in the case of a surgical strike, along with the equally important aim of minimizing the collateral damage induced in the nearby areas and civilians. The neutralization of only the specific targets in this case also prevents the escalation of the military tensions to the scale of a full blown war. The surgical strike attacks can be carried out via an air strike, or by airdropping special operations team, or through a swift ground operation by sending special troops.
History Surgical Strikes by India
East Pakistan, or current day Bangladesh (1971)
In 1971, the Indian Army closely collaborated with ‘Mukti Bahini’ inside the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) state in the build-up to the 1971 Bangladesh war. However, this operation has not been officially acknowledged by the Indian authorities.
In 1971, the Indian Special Forces and the Ghatak platoons of infantry conducted tactical operations across the Line of Control in Kashmir, and caused small-scale damages across the border. By these strikes, the Indian Army was able to send a strong point across.
Myanmar (Apr-May 1995)
In 1995, India and Myanmar (then Burma) conducted a joint military operation blocking around 200 NSCN, ULFA and KLO militants moving through the Burma-Mizoram border. The militants were moving towards Manipur after picking up an arms consignment from Bangladesh.
In December 2003, the Indian Army conducted an operation, which is famously known as “Operation All Clear”, inside Bhutan to eliminate the northeastern militant groups. The operation was acknowledged by the Government. About 30 militant camps were targeted during this operation, including ULFA, NDFB and KLO hideouts, which lead to 650 militants being “neutralized”.
In January 2006, the Indian Army and security forces in Myanmar reportedly conducted joint military operations inside the territory of Myanmar, targeting local militants in lieu of the exchange of some military equipments to the Myanmar Army by India.
In June 2015, a team comprising of about 70 Indian Army commandos carried out surgical strike inside the jungles of Myanmar. The 40-minute operation took out 38 dreaded Naga militants and left seven injured. The strike was planned hours after the Naga militants killed 18 Indian soldiers in an ambush at the Chandel area of Manipur on June 4th, 2015.
Pakistan (September 29, 2016)
India claimed to have made “surgical strikes” against several militant bases, or terrorist launch-pads in the Pakistan-held territory, and claimed to have killed 9 Pakistani soldiers and up to 50 militants. Pakistan denied about the occurrence of any such strike, and said that that Indian soldiers only fired upon the Pakistani soldiers, who then fired back. Pakistan also claimed that two of its soldiers were killed, and that it had killed 8-14 Indian soldiers and captured one. India acknowledged that one soldier had been injured, though none had been killed. India also acknowledged the capturing of one soldier by Pakistan, though not during its “surgical strike”.
This was a list of surgical strikes performed by India.