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June 19, 1999
IAF ready for any escalation: air chief
Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal A Y Tipnis today asserted that the Indian Air Force was geared to cope with any escalation in the Kargil conflict.
Addressing the media at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal, about 48 kilometres from Hyderabad, he said the situation was well under control in the sector. He was in Dundigal to review a passing out parade of pilots.
''The fact that I am attending a passing out parade shows that the situation is well under control,'' he added.
He said that the air strikes on the enemy positions have had a 'very telling effect' as the enemy advancement had been contained and the intruders pushed back.
He said the operations had to be done in a phased and sector-wise manner and ''we have to do it calmly with good calculation''.
Describing the Kargil operations as 'a small action', he said the IAF's role in it was limited. ''It had been quite effective,'' he said.
However, the 'limited' Kargil operations should not be taken lightly, he added.
The IAF was successful in locating the ''forward supply base of the enemy, set on the rear side of the Line of Control''.
To a question, he said it was not possible to guard every inch of the 140-odd-kilometre-long LoC as it involved a lot of men and material.
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