US Drone Attacks Kill 18 Militants in Pakistan Amid Tensions

October 2, 2010

(ChattahBox World News)—The Obama administration has stepped up unmanned drone attacks against militants seeking refuge in Pakistan along the Afghanistan border, as tensions mount with the Pakistanis over civilian casualties. On Saturday, after two separate drone attacks, a reported 18 militants were killed. During the month of September the U.S. has launched a record 21 drone attacks against militants.

Saturday’s strikes did not come without a cost. In response to NATO helicopters entering Pakistan, the Pakistani military closed off a critical NATO supply route to Afghanistan in retaliation, after three Pakistani soldiers were killed.

And making matters worse, the Taliban are actively engaged in attacking NATO supply vehicles en route to Afghanistan.

The New York Times writes:

“On Saturday, two drone attacks within hours of each other killed 18 militants in Datta Khel town in North Waziristan tribal region along the Afghan border, intelligence officials said.”

“In the first attack two missiles were fired at a house while in the second attack four missiles targeted a house and a vehicle. The death toll in the two attacks reached 18,” said one intelligence official. At least six foreigners were killed in the first strike.”

Although Pakistani officials publicly condemn the drone attacks, the NY Times points out, the attacks and the intelligence needed to carry them out would not be possible, without the consent and cooperation of the government.

“Elimination of high-profile targets could not be possible without Pakistani intelligence, however, analysts say.”

Photo Source: U.S. Army/U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Espejo, 66th Military Police Company stationed out of Fort Lewis, Wash., pulls security at the Pakistani border at Torkham Gate during the Afghan Independence Day ceremonies, Aug. 19. U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Daniel M. Rangel.


Comments

2 Responses to “US Drone Attacks Kill 18 Militants in Pakistan Amid Tensions”

  1. majii on October 3rd, 2010 7:20 pm

    The Pakistani government could help rid itself of these militants if it were willing to stop providing areas of sanctuary in which they could gain a foothold. I think the Obama Administration has escalated the drone attacks in an effort to keep as close to the withdrawal timeline as possible. Karzai will have to commit to efforts to run the militants out of Afghanistan and keep them out.

    This whole situation is a mess due to the fact that this region of the world has a long history of upheaval, the geographic terrain of the region provides many places in which these militants can hide, and Afghanistan lacks a strong central government. Many of the areas in Afghanistan are under tribal control, and some of the people in these tribes have strong ties to the militants. There is also the fact that there is no national language, making it harder for the different tribal groups to communicate with each other and members in the national government. The Soviet Union remained in Afghanistan for almost 10 years and still couldn’t bring the country under its control. Americans who think that our troops can claim victory in Iraq and/or Afghanistan could benefit from studying the history of the region.

  2. olivia on October 4th, 2010 2:24 pm

    Majii – Actually, new reports seem to indicate that the drone attacks increasing is to due more to the current European terror threat. They learned about the plot in July, and have been stepping up attacks near the border ever since. But especially since the scale of the attack came to light.

    I agree with you about Pakistan needing to do more to eliminate the sactuary spots inhabited by insurgents. But then, the situation is a complex one.

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