A Project of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Charting the data for US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 - 2015
Created by Bill Roggio
Since 2004, the US has been conducting a covert program to target and kill al Qaeda and Taliban commanders based in Pakistan's lawless northwest. The program has targeted top al Qaeda leaders, al Qaeda's external operations network, and Taliban leaders and fighters who threaten both the Afghan and Pakistani states.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 12:24 pm Eastern. These seven charts will be updated when information about prior or new strikes comes to light.
Predator Strikes History
The US ramped up the number of strikes in July 2008, and has continued to regularly hit at Taliban and Al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan. There have been 381 strikes total since the program began in 2004; 370 of those strikes have taken place since January 2008.
Predator Strikes Casualties
Since 2006, there have been 2,748 leaders and operatives from Taliban, Al Qaeda, and allied extremist groups killed and 156 civilians are estimated to have been killed. Data for 2004 and 2005 are not available at this time.
Predator Strikes by District by Year
Over the past six years, the strikes have focused on two regions: North and South Waziristan. Over the past two years, there has been a dramatic shift in the location of the strikes. In 2009, 42% of the strikes have taken place in North Waziristan and 51% in South Waziristan. In 2010, 89% of the strikes have taken place in North Waziristan and 6% in South Waziristan.
Predator Strikes by District
Of the 381 strikes since 2004, 72% have hit targets in North Waziristan, and 23% have hit targets in South Waziristan.
Predator Strikes by Faction
The majority of the attacks have taken place in the tribal areas administered by four powerful Taliban groups: the Mehsuds, Mullah Nazir, Hafiz Gul Bahadar, and the Haqqanis. In 2010, there was a dramatic shift in strikes to tribal areas administered by Hafiz Gul Bahadar.
Predator Strikes by Faction
Mullah Nazir and Waliur Rehman are based in South Waziristan; the Haqqanis, Hafiz Gul Bahadar, and Abu Kasha al Iraqi are based in North Waziristan; Hakeemullah Mehsud is based in Arakzai; and Faqir Mohammed is based in Bajaur. Two bases operated by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar were hit in South Waziristan. For eight of the strikes, territorial control has not been reported.
Predator Strikes and High-value Targets
The Pakistani government considers Nazir (who has been killed in a US drone strike), the Haqqanis, Bahadar, and Hekmatyar to be 'good Taliban' as they do not carry out attacks against the Pakistani state. All of these Taliban factions shelter al Qaeda and various other terror groups.