US airstrike kills 7 Taliban in North Waziristan


Unmanned US strike aircraft killed seven Taliban fighters during an attack today in Pakistan's lawless tribal agency of North Waziristan.

A flight of Predators or the more deadly Reapers hit a Taliban compound after dusk in the town of Marsi Khel near Miramshah in North Waziristan. The Predators fired their missiles at the compound, according to a report by AFP. No senior al Qaeda or Taliban fighters have been reported killed at this time.

Today's airstrike took place in a region administered by North Waziristan Taliban leader Hafiz Gul Bahadar. Al Qaeda and allied Pakistani and Central Asian jihadi groups shelter in Bahadar's tribal areas, and they also run training camps and safe houses in the region. The Pakistani military has indicated that it has no plans to take on Bahadar or the Haqqani Network, a deadly Taliban group that is closely allied with al Qaeda and is also based in North Waziristan.

Yesterday, the Taliban in North Waziristan ambushed a military convoy, killing two officers and six soldiers. The Taliban claimed 20 soldiers were killed in the attack. The military has not responded to the violation of a peace agreement it has with Bahadar.

US strikes in Pakistan, by the numbers

Today's strike is the fourth reported inside Pakistan this month, and the first after an eight-day lull. On April 16, US aircraft fired seven missiles at two vehicles and a compound near Miramshah.

The US is well on its way to exceeding last year's strike total in Pakistan. So far this year, the US has carried out 30 strikes in Pakistan; all of the strikes this year have taken place in North Waziristan. In 2009, the US carried out 53 strikes in Pakistan; and in 2008, the US carried out 36 strikes in the country. [For up-to-date charts on the US air campaign in Pakistan, see: "Charting the data for US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 - 2010."]

Unmanned US Predator and Reaper strike aircraft have been pounding Taliban and al Qaeda hideouts in North Waziristan over the past several months in an effort to kill senior terror leaders and disrupt the networks that threaten Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the West. [For more information, see LWJ report, "Senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders killed in US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 - 2010."]

Most recently, on March 8, a US strike in a bazaar in Miramshah killed a top al Qaeda operative known as Sadam Hussein Al Hussami. Hussami was a protégé of Abu Khabab al Masri, al Qaeda's top bomb maker and WMD chief, who was killed in a US airstrike in July 2008. Hussami was a senior member of al Qaeda's external operations network, and was on a council that advised the suicide bomber who carried out the attack at Combat Outpost Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan. That attack killed seven CIA officials and a Jordanian intelligence officer. The slain intelligence operatives had been involved in gathering intelligence for the hunt for al Qaeda and Taliban leaders along the Afghan-Pakistani border.

In early April, Siraj Haqqani, the leader of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network, said that the effectiveness of US airstrikes in killing senior Taliban and al Qaeda leaders has "decreased 90 percent" since the suicide attack on Combat Outpost Chapman. While other factors may be involved in the decreased effectiveness in killing the top-tier leaders, an analysis of the data shows that only two top-tier commanders have been killed since Jan 1, 2010, but seven top-tier leaders were killed between Aug.1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2009. [See LWJ report, "Effectiveness of US strikes in Pakistan 'decreased 90 percent' since suicide strike on CIA - Siraj Haqqani," for more information.]

US strikes in Pakistan in 2010:

US airstrike kills 7 Taliban in North Waziristan
April 24, 2010
US strikes kill 6 in North Waziristan
April 16, 2010
US strike kills 4 in Taliban stronghold of North Waziristan
April 14, 2010
US strike kills 5 Taliban in North Waziristan
April 12, 2010
US strikes kill 6 in North Waziristan
March 30, 2010
US strike kills 4 in North Waziristan
March 27, 2010
US kills 6 in strike against Haqqani Network
March 23, 2010
US strike kills 4 in North Waziristan
March 21, 2010
US kills 8 terrorists in 2 new airstrikes in North Waziristan
March 17, 2010
US Predator strike in North Waziristan kills 11 Taliban, al Qaeda
March 16, 2010
US airstrike kills 12 in North Waziristan
March 10, 2010
US airstrike in North Waziristan kills 5 Taliban fighters
March 8, 2010
US hits Haqqani Network in North Waziristan, kills 8
Feb. 24, 2010
US airstrikes target Haqqani Network in North Waziristan
Feb. 18, 2010
Latest US airstrike kills 3 in North Waziristan
Feb. 17, 2010
US strike kills 4 in North Waziristan
Feb. 15, 2010
US strikes training camp in North Waziristan
Feb. 14, 2010
Predators pound terrorist camp in North Waziristan
Feb. 2, 2010
US airstrike targets Haqqani Network in North Waziristan
Jan. 29, 2010
US airstrike in North Waziristan kills 6
Jan. 19, 2010
Latest US airstrike in Pakistan kills 20
Jan. 17, 2010
US strikes kill 11 in North Waziristan
Jan. 15, 2010
US airstrike hits Taliban camp in North Waziristan
Jan. 14, 2010
US airstrike kills 4 Taliban fighters in North Waziristan
Jan. 9, 2010
US airstrike kills 5 in North Waziristan
Jan. 8, 2010
US kills 17 in latest North Waziristan strike
Jan. 6, 2010
US airstrike kills 2 Taliban fighters in Mir Ali in Pakistan
Jan. 3, 2010
US kills 3 Taliban in second strike in North Waziristan
Jan. 1, 2010



Advertisement:


READER COMMENTS: "US airstrike kills 7 Taliban in North Waziristan"

Posted by nissonic at April 24, 2010 5:15 PM ET:

when will the us realize that you are fighting a foe that will never negotiate, never surrender, never be wiped out? what are you planning to achieve? you know all this body count is merely a pile of corpses on both sides.
what makes you think the terrorist acts on american soil will cease just because you kill some poor arabs in afghanistan and iraq?

my critizism might be a creative one even if you see it as just negative critizism...how many americans must be sacrificed of shores?

Posted by Meremortal at April 24, 2010 9:44 PM ET:

When Barack Obama was elected I worried that he would stop the drone attacks. Within a few months, a pattern became evident and I didn't worry about the drones anymore. He gave me something else to notice. The President attacks the Sunni and coddles the Shia.

Hmmmmm.

Posted by JT at April 24, 2010 10:53 PM ET:

It is interesting that most reports state that 7 militants/Taliban were killed, while Geo reports in its headline and part of the story that EIGHT were killed. Within the story itself, it then refers to the seven that were killed. hmmm.

http://www.geo.tv/4-24-2010/63746.htm

Posted by JMoer at April 25, 2010 3:50 AM ET:

Although they keep on killing Taliban fighters we are no closer to resolution , also Bin Laden is not close to being captured .

Posted by Meremortal at April 25, 2010 11:49 AM ET:

@Nissonic:

I realized the other side will never surrender long ago.

My options: 1. Surrender. 2. Appease. 3. Degrade the other's ability to kill me and mine.

I choose Number 3 as my solution.

Your solution please.

Posted by T Ruth at April 25, 2010 12:55 PM ET:

Nissonic,

1 Never say never
2 Could it be that you are too remote, sitting in Sweden if thats where you are, to feel the heat?
3 Where do you derive your sympathy for arabs in Afghanistan from? Admittedly, Afghanisatn is a very beautiful country, but these are not exactly tourists, are they?

Posted by ArneFufkin at April 25, 2010 2:38 PM ET:

I'm sanguine with our Af-Pak policy.

This is a bit of an aside, but I would recommend several resources that will provide the premise and rationale behind our "population first" Af-Pak strategy. First, www.pentagonchannel.com . Go to the side tab briefings/speeches and go back four or five pages. Of note are several that will provide the premise and overarching reasoning behind the coalition approach:

Page 5: Admiral Mullen's speech at Kansas State. (3/3)
Page 5: USMC BG Nicholson's (commander of USMC 2nd MEB) press briefing (3/4)
Page 6: Brit MG Nick Carter's (commander of RC-South) briefing (2/18)
Page 6: MG Leyrith and MG Campbell (imminent commander of RC-East) briefing (2/2)

The four videos will take about two hours to watch. The transcripts are over at www.defenselinks.mil. The strategy is clear in my opinion, from President Obama down the chain of command. Reasonable people can disagree with the wisdom of the strategy, but it is clear that our mission is predicated on protecting Afghan citizens, not expending and hunting and killing "workaday" Taliban. I tend to find that a wise strategy given the cultural peculiarities and battlespace realities of Afghanistan.

Time will tell. But I think it might be illuminating to anyone who wonders about the abandonment of Korengal to watch these videos or read these transcripts for context.

Posted by nissonic at April 25, 2010 2:39 PM ET:

meremortal:

the solution is pull back all the us troops back from the arabic countries. first and foremost from afghanistan and iraq then from saudi arabia and those places. how will they fight infidels when you are no longer around?

have a really strict immigration policy for arabs and those already present in the states will be under strict surveilance if any suspicion of them.

you have already wasted enough arabs to last many years. you can not wipe them all out, the enemy is hidden like in iraq. Its not a war merely sitting ducks being slaugthered, do you want that for your fellow countrymen? iraq is a useless war, get out of there.

see this as you like it. my critisism is based on common sense. even if you fight terrorism in those countries for 20 years there will still be attempts or successfull terrorist attacks on american soil.
those responisble for the 9 11 attacks had nothing to do with iraq or afghanistan, they were from other countries. AQ is not an organization that is bound to a certain country. for instance now OBL is conducting his leadership from pakistan or china, he is not in iraq or afghanistan.

Posted by Fred at April 25, 2010 6:12 PM ET:

Dear Nissonic,

The strategy you suggest is just want Al Qaeda wants. Like the Nazi's before them they need a country or countries upon which they can consolidate their power. Once they have this safe haven and the attendant resources they will not confine themselves to mere terrorist type attacks.

Posted by Meremortal at April 26, 2010 1:16 AM ET:

I'm with Fred. Radical Islamists are very patient, and don't mind reaching goals through many incremental steps. They relish the struggle and don't begrudge it's length, for in their culture such conflict is seen as uplifting.

Their tactics work best against defensive strategies. The answer is stay on offense and keep them on their heels. It's hard to plan and execute an attack while running for your life.

Posted by JT at April 26, 2010 1:47 AM ET:

Four more in Mir Ali and three in Khushali Torikhel, both on Monday, according to Dawn and Geo.

Posted by Spooky at April 26, 2010 1:50 AM ET:

I for one will not throw nissonic's ideas out of hand. Our presence in the middle east is a legitmate beef the arabs and other peoples have had with us.

However, nissonic, to merely leave immediately won't solve things either. First, we have to get to a sufficient level of victory...it won't be permanent, but it will be enough that the enemy is discredited, which is already happening. Once that is done, we leave and do the whole uber strict policy. And leaving means more than just the fighting theaters as well.

The whole war started because we meddled in affairs we did not understand. That was Cold War doctrine, and its effects continue to affect us. This time we should finish off the beefs and then not start anything new. Will those who hate us gain power? Yes, probably. But continuing to willfully enter the cycle of revenge isn't the answer.

Instead we should protect OUR borders and be on the look out. Any attempt to mess with us, we show them we mean business by blowing them out of the sky and out of the water. However, after a generation of no American involvement in the middle east, those attempts would stop as quickly as they began.

Posted by nissonic at April 26, 2010 5:54 PM ET:

t ruth:

i am a swede living in sweden so what?

my cousin is a swedish soldier in afghanistan fighting alongside americans as your unappreciated allies.
that makes it my buisness.
your mockery of my ideas is as stunning as the americans arrogance for its allies...you dont understand how you drag other nations into this...

i will not say anything more to you since im not an american and you will therefor not hear what i have to say...

should i ask you why this is personal for you? would you tell me even if i asked? you are an american and im not is that all?

Posted by nissonic at April 26, 2010 6:17 PM ET:

spooky:

i hear ya, you know that some people are not as tolerant as some societies are. it is of course hilarious when an arab is discriminated in america or some other western country and he pulls the racist card at once. when americans are on arabic soil they are infidels and must be killed. if AQ and OBL are against the foreign crusaders on arabic soil why cant the west do the same?

after you have pulled out your troops from there and have left the middle east entirely, why not impose strict laws that are on the same simple level as your enemies? allow no arabs to enter america, those already residing must leave just like you have to leave the arabic world. do hard against hard or what you call it, do not soften up with the fear of racism or other paranoid fears of this word of the century.
as no americans or other christians may be on their soil so will not they be on yours.
how will AQ and other terrorist organisations fuel their anger when you are long gone? if you leave and 10 years will pass what motive could they possibly have to strike against you again?

if they are not hobby fighting and using islam as an excuse what else can they do against you?

Posted by Fred at April 26, 2010 7:08 PM ET:

Guys,

Plz consider the following:

Is a strategy centered on protecting our borders not tantamount to the Maginot line?

How many Germans died in WW2.....vs. how many would have died had the Allies instituted regime change in 1934-36? Same question regards allied casualties. Nissonic, your proposal sounds an awful like that of the Allies in the 30's.Frankly, the European allies of today(with a few exceptions) are playing the role played by the U.S. in the 30's; sitting on the sidelines wishing somehow that Herr Hitler did not exist.

What ended Fascism in Europe and Asia? WW2 alone? or WW2 plus the allied fostered and protected democracy in post war Germany and Japan? Although worth considering is the ferociousness and fanaticism of the culture that existed both the Japan and Germany vis a vis Al Qaeda. In other words while Al Qaeda may seem fanatical they are no more so and arguably less so than either Nazi Germany or Bushido Japan.

Fast forward to today and the relevant question is, left to its own, will the Muslim world be taken over by the current crop of Islamic fascists? And then if the Caliphate is resurrected under control of Al Qaeda what would the world look like? What will the world look like 3,5,10 years from now with a democratic and prosperous Iraq.

Nissonic please consider that Al Qaeda has been trying to over throw the governments of Saudi, Egypt, Algeria and Pakistan. Partly due to our support these regimes were able to hold off Al Qaeda. But prior to 9/11 Al Qaeda's recruiting pitch was based on our inaction and the fact that through necessity we had supported anti democratic regimes in the Muslim world. Maybe this puts Iraq in better perspective.


Posted by Bungo at April 27, 2010 9:39 AM ET:

Fundamentalist Islamic Radicalism is THE major threat to "world peace" in our time. Anyone who has studied the history of warfare knows that a conflict such as this will last a minimum of 20 years and more probably 40 years. Since 9/11 I, personally, will support offensive operations against these groups to the last man. A line was crossed that day. Not everyone is a warrior. I know that. Those of you who are not up to the task can stay home and take care of the women and children. That is a useful and necessary duty. As for me, halo me into the hottest LZ you can identify with all the ammo I can carry and let me avenge my brothers and sisters who were murdered in NYC. I will NEVER forget.

Posted by Fred at April 27, 2010 7:34 PM ET:

Dear Bungo,

Exactly right!

Posted by Spooky at April 28, 2010 3:17 PM ET:

We can't have our cake and eat it too. Until we are prepared for nation-building (if not out and out colonialism), this war will never be anything more than a cycle of revenge, stoppable only if we adhere to their values and start indiscriminate mass killing, which would only justify their whole reason for fighting us in the first place (as in the reason anyone ever gives them support, not what is found in their propaganda).

This war will take far longer than a mere 20-40 years. It will take a century or more, and only if we DON'T primarily fight, but primarily build. That isn't happening and the political and popular will for that sort of thing is just not there, for both pragmatic reasons and for the simple fact that it just does not jive with Western (specifically American) ideals.

So that is why I say we finish the current fight and then go home and build our maginot line which, incidently, would work perfectly against terrorists since they are not the same as the extremely well organized, efficient, and equipped armies of the Third Reich. Because we as a people will not allow for it, realistically speaking. Otherwise we would have invaded Pakistan already.

Posted by Fred at April 30, 2010 4:12 PM ET:

Dear Spooky,

I think we can all agree that good strategy like good theory must deal with reality.

Based on this it seems to me that your proposal does not adequately address the following :

Once we go home what is to prevent Al Qaeda from achieving their long standing goal of overthrowing and occupying a mainstream Muslim country such as Egypt, Saudi, Iraq or Pakistan?

Once they do this why could they not be as efficient fighting and deadly as was the Wermacht?

With control of a country or countries such as Egypt, Saudi, Iraq or Pakistan could they acquire WMD?

Finally, what is Iraq if not nation building?

I ask these questions as Al Qaeda goal for 9/11 was to drive us out of the Mideast so that they could accomplish the above mentioned longstanding goal.

Posted by Spooky at May 2, 2010 8:00 PM ET:

WHen I mean nation-building, I mean in the style of the old imperial european colonies. Not the half-baked job we're doing in Iraq so as to not be seen as a colonial power but still making all the same mistakes as one. And sorry for not being clear before, but I meant that solution to be untennable as us being a colonial powert would go against our supposed values and would be a legitimate beef for the locals.

And perhaps we SHOULDN'T be in the middle east. Surround them and keep them contained, but don't stay involved...it is the reason why the enemy will always have more recruits, because the locals have a beef with us. And why eventually we will lose the moral highground. The event that was 9/11 will always be tragic, but there is only so much and so long one can use it as a reason to go to war because eventually it will wear itself thin compared to the events we incur among the locals. The balance of moral authority will eventually change in their favor the longer we stay.

So we either go full on colonial power and take all the hits that go with it, or we leave. Go big or go home. And the maginot line would still be more effective against them than creating a reason for them to exist in the first place. If they seize power in a country, you have to realize they still would need a military to attack us with, and there is where airstrikes come in, which is not nearly as invasive as our current approach.

So yeah, let us see our "theories" and strategies and put them to reality. The reality of what you are proposing just means either colonialism or a forever war because you aren't considering the option of removing the very things causing them their beef in the first place.