Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria, who took charge as the 26th Chief of Air Staff on Monday, 1 October, addressed his first press conference in his newly appointed role in the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Friday, 4 October.
Ahead of the press conference, the IAF showed a promotional video of the Balakot air strikes. However, news agency PTI reported that the IAF showed a video clip of ‘Balakot strikes’ at its annual press conference.
Several media outlets too misreported the release of the video. Republic TV ran a story titled ‘IAF Screens 'Untold Story Of Balakot Strike' Video For 1st Time; WATCH’.
Zee Uttar Pradesh Uttrakhand too tweeted out the video with a caption ‘See the exclusive footage of the Balakot airstrike’.
You can find the archived version of the tweet here.
WHAT’S THE TRUTH?
The IAF did release a video during the press conference but it was a promotional video depicting Balakot strikes, and not the actual footage of the Balakot strikes.
You can watch the entire press conference here:
Most news organisations passed off this promo as the ‘real’ footage from the Balakot airstrikes.
ABOUT THE PRESS CONFERENCE
The video was released by IAF Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhaduria and showed shots of jets taking off and missiles being aimed at targets. It begins with the Pulwama Attack, and also shows the Rafale and Apache aircraft.
During this press conference, Bhadauria, referred to the Mi-17 helicopter that was shot down in Budgam on 27 February and called it a “big mistake”.
He said that the court of inquiry submitted its report last week and the IAF is taking punitive action against the guilty.
Further, in the press conference, he said that the operational preparedness of the IAF has been of a very high order and has achieved a number of operational milestones last year, including the Balakot strikes.
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