Jammu and Kashmir militants opt for jungle warfare-

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Express News Service

SRINAGAR: Security experts are witnessing a shift in militant strategy from urban warfare to jungle warfare in Jammu and Kashmir. They attributed the change in this militant strategy to a decline in public support for militants and the drop in the shelf life of continued anti-militancy operations.  

The shift by militants to jungle warfare may, however, prove a challenging task for security forces. Former J&K police chief S P Vaid told this newspaper that it seems that militants have changed their strategy after thousands of militants were killed by security forces following the launch of “Operation All Out” in 2017 and they also faced a shortage of weapons.

“A few years back, they started the targeted killings by targeting minority community members, panchayat members and outside workers using small weapons like pistols. Now after security forces brought that under control, militants have changed their strategy and are moving away from built-up areas to jungles to avoid security forces,” he said.

Vaid said militants have now changed their strategy from urban warfare to jungle warfare and feel that they can draw the security forces to their hideouts in dense forests and inflict casualties among the security force personnel by engaging them in gunfire.

In forests, he said, the tunnels, caves and boulders provide naturally made hideouts to the militants and they can survive security forces operations by using these natural caves as hideouts. This year militants have engaged security men in many gunfights in the forest area in J&K. Troops are presently engaged in search operations in the Kokernag forest area for the last six days after three security officials were killed in militant firing last Wednesday.

Earlier, three soldiers were killed in a militant attack in the forest area in Kulgam a few months back.In the twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri, many gunfights have taken place between militants and security forces personnel in the dense forest area this year. In these encounters, 10 security men have been killed. Colonel (Retd) Shiv Nandan Singh said the militants are resorting to jungle warfare now as the public support for militancy has declined considerably and they no longer enjoy public support.

“The militancy survives on local support and this local support is slowly weaning away. Now this is a desperate attempt of Pakistan with backing from China to keep the pot boiling in J&K,” he said. Another former retired security official said the militant shelf life has dropped in the last few years and there have been instances when a militant was killed a day after joining militancy. 

‘No local support’

Colonel (Retd) Shiv Nandan Singh said the militants are resorting to jungle warfare now as the public support for militancy has declined considerably and they no longer enjoy public support. “The militancy survives on local support and this local support is slowly weaning away. Now this is a desperate attempt of Pakistan with backing from China to keep the pot boiling in J&K,” he said. Another reason is militant shelf life has dropped in the last few years.

SRINAGAR: Security experts are witnessing a shift in militant strategy from urban warfare to jungle warfare in Jammu and Kashmir. They attributed the change in this militant strategy to a decline in public support for militants and the drop in the shelf life of continued anti-militancy operations.  

The shift by militants to jungle warfare may, however, prove a challenging task for security forces. Former J&K police chief S P Vaid told this newspaper that it seems that militants have changed their strategy after thousands of militants were killed by security forces following the launch of “Operation All Out” in 2017 and they also faced a shortage of weapons.

“A few years back, they started the targeted killings by targeting minority community members, panchayat members and outside workers using small weapons like pistols. Now after security forces brought that under control, militants have changed their strategy and are moving away from built-up areas to jungles to avoid security forces,” he said.googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-8052921-2’); });

Vaid said militants have now changed their strategy from urban warfare to jungle warfare and feel that they can draw the security forces to their hideouts in dense forests and inflict casualties among the security force personnel by engaging them in gunfire.

In forests, he said, the tunnels, caves and boulders provide naturally made hideouts to the militants and they can survive security forces operations by using these natural caves as hideouts. This year militants have engaged security men in many gunfights in the forest area in J&K. Troops are presently engaged in search operations in the Kokernag forest area for the last six days after three security officials were killed in militant firing last Wednesday.

Earlier, three soldiers were killed in a militant attack in the forest area in Kulgam a few months back.
In the twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri, many gunfights have taken place between militants and security forces personnel in the dense forest area this year. In these encounters, 10 security men have been killed. Colonel (Retd) Shiv Nandan Singh said the militants are resorting to jungle warfare now as the public support for militancy has declined considerably and they no longer enjoy public support.

“The militancy survives on local support and this local support is slowly weaning away. Now this is a desperate attempt of Pakistan with backing from China to keep the pot boiling in J&K,” he said. Another former retired security official said the militant shelf life has dropped in the last few years and there have been instances when a militant was killed a day after joining militancy. 

‘No local support’

Colonel (Retd) Shiv Nandan Singh said the militants are resorting to jungle warfare now as the public support for militancy has declined considerably and they no longer enjoy public support. “The militancy survives on local support and this local support is slowly weaning away. Now this is a desperate attempt of Pakistan with backing from China to keep the pot boiling in J&K,” he said. Another reason is militant shelf life has dropped in the last few years.

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