Sunday, January 17, 2010

predator strikes inside Pakistan

It is not terrorism when US attacks with a drone in Pakistan and kills 700 innocent civilians.

Of the 60 cross-border predator strikes carried out by the Afghanistan-based American drones in Pakistan between January 14, 2006 and April 8, 2009, only 10 were able to hit their actual targets, killing 14 wanted al-Qaeda leaders, besides perishing 687 innocent Pakistani civilians. The success percentage of the US predator strikes thus comes to not more than six per cent.

Figures compiled by the Pakistani authorities show that a total of 701 people, including 14 al-Qaeda leaders, have been killed since January 2006 in 60 American predator attacks targeting the tribal areas of Pakistan. Two strikes carried out in 2006 had killed 98 civilians while three attacks conducted in 2007 had slain 66 Pakistanis, yet none of the wanted al-Qaeda or Taliban leaders could be hit by the Americans right on target.

However, of the 50 drone attacks carried out between January 29, 2008 and April 8, 2009, 10 hit their targets and killed 14 wanted al-Qaeda operatives. Most of these attacks were carried out on the basis of intelligence believed to have been provided by the Pakistani and Afghan tribesmen who had been spying for the US-led allied forces stationed in Afghanistan.

The remaining 50 drone attacks went wrong due to faulty intelligence information, killing hundreds of innocent civilians, including women and children. The number of the Pakistani civilians killed in those 50 attacks stood at 537, in which 385 people lost their lives in 2008 and 152 people were slain in the first 99 days of 2009 (between January 1 and April 8).

Of the 50 drone attacks, targeting the Pakistani tribal areas since January 2008, 36 were carried out in 2008 and 14 were conducted in the first 99 days of 2009. Of the 14 attacks targeting Pakistan in 2009, three were carried out in January, killing 30 people, two in February killing 55 people, five in March killing 36 people and four were conducted in the first nine days of April, killing 31 people.

Of the 14 strikes carried out in the first 99 days of April 2009, only one proved successful, killing two most wanted senior al-Qaeda leaders - Osama al Kini and Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan. Both had lost their lives in a New Year’s Day drone strike carried out in the South Waziristan region on January 1, 2009.

Kini was believed to be the chief operational commander of al-Qaeda in Pakistan and had replaced Abu Faraj Al Libi after his arrest from Bannu in 2004. Both men were behind the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Dares Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, which killed 224 civilians and wounded more than 5,000 others.

There were 36 recorded cross-border US predator strikes inside Pakistan during 2008, of which 29 took place after August 31, 2008, killing 385 people. However, only nine of the 36 strikes hit their actual targets, killing 12 wanted al-Qaeda leaders. The first successful predator strike had killed Abu Laith al Libi, a senior military commander of al-Qaeda who was targeted in North Waziristan on January 29, 2008. The second successful attack in Bajaur had killed Abu Sulayman Jazairi, al-Qaeda’s external operations chief, on March 14, 2008. The third attack in South Waziristan on July 28, 2008, had killed Abu Khabab al Masri, al-Qaeda’s weapons of mass destruction chief. The fourth successful attack in South Waziristan on August 13, 2008, had killed al-Qaeda leader Abdur Rehman.

The fifth predator strike carried out in North Waziristan near Miranshah on Sept 8, 2008 had killed three al-Qaeda leaders, Abu Haris, Abu Hamza, and Zain Ul Abu Qasim. The sixth successful predator hit in the South Waziristan region on October 2008 had killed Khalid Habib, a key leader of al-Qaeda’s paramilitary Shadow Army.

The seventh such attack conducted in North Waziristan on October 31, 2008 had killed Abu Jihad al Masri, a top leader of the Egyptian Islamic group. The eighth successful predator strike had killed al-Qaeda leader Abdullah Azzam al Saudi in east of North Waziristan on November 19, 2008.

The ninth and the last successful drone attack of 2008, carried out in the Ali Khel region just outside Miramshah in North Waziristan on November 22, 2008, had killed al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubair al Masri and his Pakistani fugitive accomplice Rashid Rauf.

According to the figures compiled by the Pakistani authorities, a total of 537 people have been killed in 50 incidents of cross-border US predator strikes since January 1, 2008 to April 8, 2009, averaging 34 killings per month and 11 killings per attack. The average per month killings in predator strikes during 12 months of 2008 stood at 32 while the average per attack killings in the 36 drone strikes for the same year stood at 11.

Similarly, 152 people have been killed in 14 incidents of cross-border predator attacks in the tribal areas in the first 99 days of 2009, averaging 38 killings per month and 11 killings per attack.

"if we’ve got actual war intelligence on high-ranking Al Qaeda leaders, or for that matter high-ranking Taliban leaders who are directing actions against US troops –then we will take action,’ Mr Obama told CBS’s Steve Kroft.’"

and Pakistan says:

"The senior Pakistani official bridled at the suggestion that Pakistan has been reluctant to target militants in Quetta, saying U.S. assertions about the city’s role as a sanctuary have been exaggerated. “We keep hearing that there is a shadow government in Quetta, but we have never been given actionable intelligence,” the Pakistani official was quoted as saying. Pakistan is prepared to pursue Taliban leaders, including Omar, even when the intelligence is imprecise, the official said. “Even if a compound 1 kilometer by 1 kilometer is identified, we will go find him.” But, he added, “for the past two years we haven’t heard anything more.”


"Pakistani officials, according to a report, have warned that the fallout would be severe.

“We are not a banana republic,” a senior Pakistani official involved in discussions of security issues with the Obama administration, was quoted as saying. “If the United States follows through, the official said, “this might be the end of the road.” "

Now Imagine, just 14 AQ leaders killed and how much would have joined them after they lost their families?


fahad said...

Drone is not an option at all. We should not have this technology with us. What we are going to do with this? If you look at the drone attacks it killed more innocents. You cannot isolate militants from a village settlement. They live among villagers. Drones cannot distinguish a villager from a militant. We will be forced to use drones and will be killing our on citizens by our own hands on behest of the US. It’s not a weeks or years affair. As long as Pakistan is going to be a nation, South and North Waszirastan are going to be part of it. So no short term patch up provides you with a permanent solution. We need to take them in our stride to understand and resolve their resentments. Don’t be fools and rushed by the Americans, they want to finish this war and pack off from Pakistan to concentrate on other affairs. We will have to bear the brunt for generations for killing our own people. I urge the political parties to revisit our East Pakistan episode to learn lessons.

Ali Abbas said...

Drones are fine as long as they kill these militants. US is not giving this technology to Pakistan.

Bezad Khan said...

Pakistan in under siege. US will never stop drone attacks. It’s awful to see that our government cannot do anything from US killing our citizens. Is there no value for a Pakistani citizen’s life? How can our government allow US to hunt down our citizens? It’s so shameful and heartbreaking for all citizens to see that government receive the funds for its own citizen’s blood. If there is terrorism in Pakistan, we need to address it by our own law of the land. No one is guilty until he is proved otherwise. Even the “terrorists” should be given a fair chance and proved them they are terrorists before the law takes action. Blanket killing on assumptions which the US calls “Actionable intelligence” should be stopped immediately. If the US respect the rights and security of their citizens, Pakistan too should do that. This is not equal alliance. US is looking down to Pakistan and its citizens as mere instruments to achieve their goals here and unfortunately our leaders are colluding with them.