Iran’s PressTV continues to distort The Long War Journal‘s data on the US air campaign against al Qaeda and the Taliban in northwestern Pakistan. According to PressTV, LWJ‘s data shows that mostly civilians are killed in the covert air campaign in Pakistan:
Washington claims its airstrikes target militant hideouts though most of the attacks have killed civilians. Since August 2008, such strikes have killed nearly a thousand people in tribal areas.
The Long War Journal, a US website tracking the strikes also insisted in January that the assaults have killed mostly civilians and have failed to target top militant leaders.
In fact, the opposite is true; to date, many more insurgents than civilians have been killed in the US’ covert air campaign in Pakistan. Our data shows that since 2006, there have been 1,245 leaders and operatives from Taliban, al Qaeda, and allied extremist groups killed; and 99 civilians killed.
Given that we maintain two pages devoted to the data, it is difficult to see how PressTV is getting this wrong. PressTV reporters should be able to easily find these two pages: Charting the data for US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 – 2010, and Senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders killed in US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 – 2010. In addition, the numerous reports in LWJ on the Predator strikes point to these pages and often give a status update on commanders recently killed in the strikes.
And this isn’t the first time PressTV has misrepresented LWJ‘s data. Back in January, we noted that the Iranian news outlet incorrectly reported on our data (that response still applies today, as al Qaeda leaders continue to be targeted and are killed, and civilian casualties remain low). Attempts to contact PressTV to correct the record have failed.
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Typical of this Iranian regime to distort the facts to fit their agenda. I’ve come to expect nothing less. Keep up the good work Roggio!