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US drones target Haqqani network in Pakistan

Discussion in 'South Asia & SAARC' started by Osiris, Sep 17, 2010.

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  1. Osiris

    Osiris Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Apparently frustrated over Pakistan military's inaction against the dreaded Haqqani network, the US has unleashed a wave of drone attacks killing dozens of militants in North Waziristan this month.

    Since September 2, there have been 13 strikes by unmanned spy planes in North Waziristan — the highest number in a month since the US began using drones to hit targets in Pakistan in 2004, the Dawn newspaper reported.

    The number of drone strikes this year has already crossed 70, the highest figure for a single year.

    There were two attacks on Tuesday and Wednesday that killed 32 militants including Commander Saifullah, a cousin of Sirajuddin, a son of Jalaluddin Haqqani.

    The US is hoping to downgrade the operational capabilities of the Haqqani group, which it considers the most lethal militant outfit in Afghanistan.

    Military sources were quoted by the Dawn as saying that an operation in North Waziristan had been delayed because the Pakistan Army is preoccupied with fighting militancy in other tribal areas and flood relief efforts.

    This window was fully exploited by the Haqqani group to intensify its activities, defence analysts said.

    "The Americans want to check that freedom of space available to the Haqqanis through intensified drone attacks," a source said.

    The daily reported there were "few takers for the Pakistani explanation" about the delay in launching an operation in North Waziristan and many described the delay as tactical.

    Pakistan had in June initiated efforts to secure a place for the Haqqani group in post-war Afghanistan by working out a rapprochement between the network and the Hamid Karzai government.

    US opposition to the initiative halted the move.

    Sources said Pakistan would make fresh moves to discuss peace with the Haqqanis, in the context of the overall reconciliation plan, during Afghan President Hamid Karzai's current visit to Pakistan. Karzai arrived in Islamabad yesterday on a two-day visit.

    The pattern of the drone attacks this month showed that the primary target was the Haqqani network, though its host commander Hafiz Gul Bahadar and foreign militants of al-Qaeda have also been targeted.

    The drone strikes this month have predominantly been in Miranshah sub-division, where the Haqqani network's headquarters are based and where the group carries out its financial dealings, acquisition of weapons and strategic planning.

    Five of the attacks occurred in Datta Khel, which is home to Gul Bahadar's Uthmanzai Wazir clan.

    Dandey Darpa Khel, the scene of several drone attacks, is where members of Jalaluddin Haqqani's family live.

    Gul Bahadar, who leads the other major militant group in North Waziristan, provides the Haqqanis the tribal support they lack and gives them passage to the border.

    The US, while targeting the Haqqanis, is pursuing the "hammer and anvil approach".

    Alongside the spike in drone attacks, US Special Forces have launched an intense operation against the group in eastern Afghanistan, killing a number of its commanders.

    The Haqqani network has been the focus of US action for the past two years. After the December 2009 suicide attack on a CIA forward base in Khost, the network again came under renewed focus.

    In this unprecedented intense bombardment by drones, Pakistani military officials see a shift in US policy in Afghanistan from counter-insurgency to counter-terrorism.

    They said the US, notwithstanding international denunciation of drone attacks, feels encouraged because the strikes have killed second and third tier leaders of militant groups.

    More than 1,200 militants have been killed in over 130 drone strikes since August 2008. Those killed include Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, al-Qaeda's no. 3 Abu Mustafa al-Yazeed and some other top operatives of the terror group.

    US drones target Haqqani network in Pakistan - World - DNA
     
  2. Osiris

    Osiris Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    17 more killed as US steps up drone strikes in N Waziristan

    Two separate US missile strikes targeting Pakistani fighters in the Tribal Areas on Wednesday killed 17 of them, local security officials said.

    A pre-dawn attack was directed at the Haqqani network, officials said. “Several US drones fired eight missiles at two compounds early this morning, killing at least 12 ,â€￾ a senior security official said about the first attack. The barrage hit the village of Dargah Mandi on the outskirts of Miranshah where 15 (Pakistanis) had been killed in two separate drone attacks on Tuesday.

    Later in the day, a second attack targeted a compound in Payekhel village of Dattakhel district of North Waziristan, killing five and wounding three others, local security officials said. Meanwhile, a senior security official disclosed that an Afghan Taliban commander and close relative of Sirajuddin Haqqani was among those killed in a drone strike on a vehicle in Qutabkhel village on Tuesday. afp
     
  3. abc

    abc FULL MEMBER

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    Drones are proving themselves very effective in targetting the Taliban(both good and bad), keep them coming. I personally think that Pakistani Army should go to North Waziristan yet as they are already stretched in south waziristan and other parts of FATA, they are struggling to keep those areas and if they go to North, then it will be nothing but a distaster for the army.
     
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