A sketch map of North and South Waziristan. Map from The Khyber Gateway. Click to view.
US unmanned Predator aircraft have struck again inside Pakistan’s tribal areas. The latest attack occurred in the Shakai region north of Wana in South Waziristan. This is a region under the control of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.
Eight people were reported killed after missiles struck what a Pakistani security official described as a “facility.” The Taliban and al Qaeda are known to have numbers camps and support facilities in South Waziristan. There are no reports of senior Taliban or al Qaeda leaders killed or wounded.
The US has targeted Baitullah’s tribal areas at least three times this year. The US military targeted Baitullah Mehsud in his hometown of Makeen on June 14.
Another strike occurred in the town of Sam on Oct. 16. It is rumored that al Qaeda commander Khalid Habib was killed. Habib serves as the commander of al Qaeda’s paramilitary forces in Pakistan’s tribal areas. But US intelligence officials told The Long War Journal there is no evidence he was killed in the strike.
The US has stepped up attacks inside Pakistan’s tribal areas this year in an attempt to disrupt al Qaeda’s network. US intelligence believes the next attack launched against the West will originate from Pakistan’s tribal areas, where al Qaeda operates 157 known training camps. The Pakistani government has protested the attacks.
There have been 25 recorded cross-border attacks and attempts in Pakistan in 2008, compared to 10 strikes during 2006 and 2007 combined. Eighteen of these attacks have occurred since Aug. 31.
The majority of the strikes targeted the notorious Haqqani Network in North Waziristan. The last attack took place four days ago and targeted a mosque founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani.
Three senior al Qaeda leaders — Abu Laith al Libi, Abu Sulayman Jazairi, and Abu Khabab al Masri — have been killed during the strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas in 2008.
US attacks inside Pakistan and incidents along the border in 2008:
• US targets Taliban “facility” in South Waziristan
Oct. 26, 2008
• US hits Haqqani Network in North Waziristan
Oct. 22, 2008
• US strike in Baitullah Mehsud’s territory kills 6
Oct. 16, 2008
• US targets safe house in North Waziristan
Oct. 11, 2008
• US strike kills 9 al Qaeda and Taliban in North Waziristan
Oct. 9, 2008
• US conducts two strikes in North Waziristan
Oct. 3, 2008
• Taliban: Baitullah Mehsud alive; US strike in North Waziristan
Oct. 1, 2008
• Pakistan military fires on ISAF forces
Sept. 25, 2008
• Pakistani military fires on US helicopters at border
Sept. 22, 2008
• US strikes Taliban camp in South Waziristan
Sept. 17, 2008
• Report: US helicopters fired on while crossing Pakistani border
Sept. 15, 2008
• US hits compound in North Waziristan,
Sept. 12, 2008
• US targets Haqqani Network in North Waziristan,
Sept. 8, 2008
• US airstrike killed five al Qaeda operatives in North Waziristan,
Sept. 5, 2008
• Report: US airstrike kills four in North Waziristan,
Sept. 4, 2008
• Pakistanis claim US helicopter-borne forces assaulted village in South Waziristan,
Sept. 3, 2008
• US hits al Qaeda safe house in North Waziristan,
Aug. 31, 2008
• Five killed in al Qaeda safe house strike in South Waziristan,
Aug. 31, 2008
• Al Qaeda safe house targeted in South Waziristan strike,
Aug. 20, 2008
• Cross-border strike targets one of the Taliban’s 157 training camps in Pakistan’s northwest,
Aug. 13, 2008
• Six killed in strike in South Waziristan,
July 28, 2008
• Report: Strike targets Baitullah Mehsud’s hideout in Pakistan,
June 14, 2008
• Senior Algerian al Qaeda operative killed in May 14 strike inside Pakistan,
May 24, 2008
• Missile strike kills 20 in South Waziristan,
March 16, 2008
• Unprecedented Coalition strike nails the Haqqani Network in North Waziristan,
March 13, 2008
• Missile strike on al Qaeda meeting in South Waziristan kills 13,
Feb. 28, 2008
• Senior al Qaeda leader Abu Laith al Libi killed in North Waziristan,
Jan. 31, 2008
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Other sources put the casualty totals higher.
Reuters: Suspected U.S. drone said kills up to 20 militants
so many strikes but no HVT
casualty totals are different in some other sources…
Are any of these airstrikes conducted by manned warplanes? There are PLENTY of targets in the tribal areas, and as long as the plane is within striking range, a JDAM can fly for miles. Why aren’t there more airstrikes? The P-stani’s only care about the threat to thier gov., not at all about A-stan and US troops.