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How was F-16 AMRAAM missile's part found in India? Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asks US magazine reporter

Sitharaman stressed that the report is completely baseless and source-based.

How was F-16 AMRAAM missile's part found in India? Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asks US magazine reporter
Image Courtesy: ANI

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday rejected the US magazine report that claimed that Pakistan did not lose any F-16 fighter jet during the aerial dogfight with Indian Air Force jets on February 27.

Sitharaman stressed that the report is completely baseless and source-based. She also advised the reporters to check the facts of the case before making such tall claims. The Defence Minister remarked that AMRAAM missile's part found in India is used only with F-16 jets and electronic signature of F-16 was put forward by the IAF as proof that one F-16 jet of Pakistan Air Force was shot down by the IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was flying a MiG-21 Bison.

"IAF gave proof on it with electronic signature of F-16. Whoever has written it, it's baseless source based. The part of AM-RAAM missile, which is used only with F-16, how was it found in India?," asked the Defence Minister.

Sitharaman added that some US officials have also rejected the report published in the magazine claiming that no such probe was conducted by them.

"The article that came in “Foreign Policy", many people are calling it baseless.Someone showed me on social media that US officials are also saying that they didn't conduct any such investigation," noted Sitharaman.

The Defence Minister also attacked the Congress and the opposition parties for spreading misinformation about the IAF's operation in order to achieve their political objectives. 

"There are a lot of people who are spreading misinformation. But it is sad that in our own country, we have a lot of people in Congress party’s “Bhajan Mandali” who are doubting and raising questions on what the defence forces are saying. It suits them," she remarked.

On Friday, a number of evidence were listed by the IAF to prove that the jet shot down by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was an F-16 jet of the PAF.

The IAF said that a PAF F-16 jet was shot down by Abhinandan seven to eight kilometres inside Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir. News agency ANI, quoting IAF sources, reported that the intercepts of PAF's radio communication confirms that one of the F-16s that violated the Indian airspace did not return to its base. The IAF also said that Indian forces had confirmed the sighting of ejections at two different places on the same day - one of an IAF MiG 21 Bison and the other of a PAF jet.