Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Monsters and Critics.com – 2011-05-13 01:11:49
Despite Pakistani Opposition, US Seen Escalating Drone Strikes
At Least Eight ‘Suspects’ Killed in Latest Strikes
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(May 12, 2011) — US drones fired a number of missiles against the North Waziristan Agency of Pakistan today, killing at least eight people that officials termed “suspected militants.” The strikes were the third salvo in the week and a half since the death of Osama bin Laden.
The number of strikes would not have been unusual earlier in the year, but after a period of relative calm they suggest the Obama Administration is once again pushing for an escalation against the tribal areas.
The escalation couldn’t come at a worse time for the Pakistani military, which is under growing scrutiny for allowing the US to conduct a raid against Abbottabad unnoticed. The Pakistani military has repeatedly demanded the US stop the drone strikes in recent weeks, and the strikes again give the appearance that they have no control over what the US decides to do.
The drone strikes are likely to be even more controversial going forward as, despite repeated US insistence that Osama bin Laden and others were in Pakistan’s tribal areas, he was found in Abbottabad, not far from the capital city but far from the tribal lands so often under attack.
US Drone Strike Kills Five Alleged Militants in Northwest Pakistan
Monsters and Critics.com
ISLAMABAD (May 12, 2011) — A US drone strike killed five suspected militants in northwestern Pakistan Thursday, a security official said. The unmanned aircraft fired two missiles into a vehicle 40 kilometres to the west of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan district along the Afghan border.
The five killed were all members of the Haqqani network, a group of Afghan Taliban suspected of launching attacks on NATO forces across the border from their bases in Pakistan, an intelligence official said on condition of anonymity.
Washington has urged Pakistan to act against the group, which was founded by the veteran Afghan warlord Jalaulddin Haqqani. But Pakistan says its troops are overstretched by the struggle fight against militants in other districts.
On Wednesday, the US placed Badruddin Haqqani, a son of Jalaluddin, on its terrorist blacklist. Amid Pakistan’s reluctance, the US has increased drone attacks in the district.
Pakistan publicly criticizes the strikes, saying they fuel anti-Western sentiments, but its intelligence agencies are believed to cooperate in identifying the targets.
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