Pakistan Strikes

– Yemen Strikes

Charting the data for US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 – [php_everywhere]

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.

The charts below look at the following: 1) the number of US airstrikes inside Pakistan per year; 2) civilian casualties vs. Taliban/al Qaeda casualties; 3) the distribution of strikes over time by tribal agencies; 4) the overall distribution of strikes, by tribal agencies; 5) the distribution of strikes over time by territories targeted; 6) the overall distribution of strikes, by territories targeted; and 7) the number of high value targets killed in territories managed by individual Taliban commanders.

The data is obtained from press reports from the Pakistani press (Daily Times, Dawn, Geo News, The News, and other outlets), as well as wire reports (AFP, Reuters, etc.), as well as reporting from The Long War Journal. Given the Taliban’s control of the areas where strikes occur, and a dearth of reporters in those areas, the exact numbers for casualties are difficult to know. The numbers below are estimates based on press reporting.

For a list of al Qaeda and Taliban leaders thought to have been killed in the attacks, see LWJ report, Senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders killed in US airstrikes in Pakistan 2004 – 2017.

This page was last updated on 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 strikes total since the program began in 2004; of those strikes have taken place since January 2008.

Predator Strikes Casualties

Since 2006, there have been leaders and operatives from Taliban, Al Qaeda, and allied extremist groups killed and 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, of the strikes have taken place in North Waziristan and in South Waziristan. In 2010, of the strikes have taken place in North Waziristan and in South Waziristan.

Predator Strikes by District

Of the strikes since 2004, have hit targets in North Waziristan, and 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 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.


  • Thomas Rogers says:

    Great work – i listen to you all the time on the John Batchelor Show

    Suggestion after reading today Op-Ed in the WSJ from a Fort Hood survivor: Can you keep and publish metrics on the number of attacks by different groups, locations and body count — given the current Administration’s comment that they had won the war on terror, the metrics could be very useful to show the terrible trend lines not just around the world but in the US


  • Richard says:

    What happened to the Iraq bombing sortie data that was part of LWJ? That really did show how pathetic the USAA action was.

  • Pete says:

    Thank you very much for all of your efforts. The information above is very information and does much to shine a light on some of the details of the current campaigns. Is there any data on specific strikes? For example, in 2013 there were 28 strikes and 14 civilian deaths. While that may equate to a death every other strike, it would be more interesting to see if the deaths were the result of 1 or 2 imprecise strikes.

    Many thanks again, keep up the good work

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