A Pakistani official confirmed two LWJ reports on the lull in US drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas. From The Associated Press:
The chief of Pakistan’s defence committee says Washington put on hold US drone strikes after the deadly November raid along the Afghan border so as not to “worsen” the already strained ties with Islamabad.
Javed Ashraf Qazi said Tuesday he believes the lull in the strikes would at this point only be broken if there was a confirmed report of a high profile target.
There hasn’t been a missile strike against militants since the Nov. 26 Nato raid at the Pakistani army border outpost that killed 24 soldiers. That’s according to The Long War Journal, a website that tracks the strikes.
It says the 33-day break is the longest ever since the CIA’s covert operations began in 2004 against al Qaeda and Taliban militants in Pakistan’s tribal regions along the Afghan border.
On Dec. 12, we reported that US officials said the drone strikes are “on hold” and that due to the Nov. 26 incident in Mohmand a new strike would occur only if intelligence detected a high-value target. And on Dec. 19, we noted that the current pause in strikes is the longest since the program was ramped up in the summer of 2008, and we again reported that the deteriorating relationship between the US and Pakistan in the wake of the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers in Mohmand was the reason for the pause.
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