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US officials say no Pakistani F-16s missing raising doubts over India's claim: report

The Foreign Policy report cited "two senior US defence officials with direct knowledge of the situation" who claimed that the US personnel had recently counted Pakistan's F-16 and had "found none missing".

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | April 5, 2019 | Updated 14:09 IST
US officials say no Pakistani F-16s missing raising doubts over India's claim: report
A US count of the Pakistani F-16s has found that no aircraft is missing indicating India's claim of striking down a Pakistani fighter jet during recent military escalation between the two countries may be "wrong", an American magazine has reported.

A US count of the Pakistani F-16s has found that no aircraft is missing indicating India's claim of striking down a Pakistani fighter jet during recent military escalation between the two countries may be "wrong", an American magazine has reported.

The Foreign Policy report cited "two senior US defence officials with direct knowledge of the situation" who claimed that the US personnel had recently counted Pakistan's F-16 and had "found none missing".

"All aircraft were present and accounted for," the report quoted one of the official as saying. Pakistan invited the US to count the number of F-16s after the dogfight with India on February 27, the report said quoting an official.  

Also Read: IAF scrambled Mirage, Sukhoi jets last night to fight off Pakistani F-16s near Punjab border

US and Pakistan have an end-user agreement over the F-16s, which allows the United States to inspect the fighter jets so that they are "accounted for and protected," the report said quoting an official.

The report said the development "sheds doubt on New Delhi's version of events" and suggests "Indian authorities may have misled the international community".

No official confirmation has come from the US authorities if they have counted and confirmed the number of F-16s Pakistan currently possesses.  

Also Read: Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale to give proof of Pakistan's misuse of F-16s to top US officials

The Indian Air Force had claimed that it downed a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet in a dogfight that ensued in Pakistan's skies on February 27.

The incident occurred when Pakistani fighter jets entered Indian air space in response to Indian Air Force's a morning raid on February 26 on JeM terror camps in the Pakistani territories of Balakot, Chakothi and Muzaffarabad nearly two weeks after a militant attack killed 44 Indian soldiers in Pulwama district of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K).

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