US targets Taliban “facility” in South Waziristan

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

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.



  • Marlin says:

    Other sources put the casualty totals higher.

    “Two missiles were fired, they hit two houses in Shakai and up to 20 militants were killed,” said one of the Pakistani intelligence agency officials, referring to an area in the South Waziristan region that is a stronghold of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.
    The intelligence agency officials, who declined to be identified, had no details about the identity of the militants in the houses hit by the missiles.
    The Pentagon said it had no information on the drone strike.

    Reuters: Suspected U.S. drone said kills up to 20 militants

  • don juice says:

    so many strikes but no HVT

  • isti says:

    casualty totals are different in some other sources…

  • Rhyno327/lrs says:

    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.


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