Satellite imagery shows that a religious school operated by Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) in northeastern Pakistan still has days left after India claims that fighter planes destroyed it and killed a large number of fighters.
Planet-produced images Labs Inc., a San Francisco-based private satellite operator, will display at least six buildings on the Madrasa on March 4, six days after the air raids. So far, no high-resolution satellite images were publicly available.
The images are virtually unchanged from a satellite photo of the facility from April 2018. There are no identifiable holes in the roofs of buildings, no signs of scorching, blown out walls, trees displaced by madrasa or other signs of air raids.
The images further cast doubt on the statements of the past eight days by the Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the raids on the 26th of February had hit all intended targets at the Madrasa site in the Balakat region of northern Iraq.
India's Department of Foreign Affairs and Defense did not answer questions from the Reuters news agency about the satellite images.
Jeffrey Lewis, Director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Project at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, The photographs confirm that the structures in question still existed.
India and Pakistan exchange heavy border fires after the pilot's release.
"The high-resolution images show no evidence of bomb damage," he said.
According to government sources, 12 Mirage 2000 jets carrying 1,000kg bombs had launched the attack last week.
Lewis and Dave Schmerler, senior research associate at the James Martin Center for Non-Propagation Studies, who also analyzes satellite images, said these weapons would have caused large-scale weapons obvious damage to the structures visible in the image.
"If the strike was successful – given the information we have about the type of ammunition that u sed – I would expect to see signs that the buildings were damaged," said Lewis. "I just do not see this here."
Pakistan denies the Indian bill and says the operation is a failure as Indian jets under pressure from Pakistani aircraft dropped their bombs on a largely empty hill.
"The Indian invasion has damaged neither infrastructure nor human life," said Major General Asif Ghafoor. "This was confirmed by both national and international media after visiting the site."
India must hold a general election in May, and pollsters say Modi and his Hindu nationalist party could benefit from his aggressive response to a suicide attack in which 40 Indian paramilitary police officers were in the controversial on February 14 Kashmir region were killed.
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Indian authorities said hundreds of "terrorists" were killed in the air raids.
However, the Indian government failed to provide evidence that the camp was destroyed and fighters killed. This prompted some opposition politicians to push for more detail.
Modi has accused the opposition Congress Party and other opponents of helping the enemies of India by demanding evidence of the attacks.
After the invasion of the Indian Air Force a dogfight led to the capture of a dejected Indian pilot who was released on 1 March as part of a "peace gesture" from Pakistan.
Reuters news agency