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Template:Infobox military conflict Template:Campaignbox Waziristan Template:Campaignbox US war in Afghanistan The United States government, led by the Central Intelligence Agency's Special Activities Division, has made a series of attacks on targets in northwest Pakistan since 2004 using drones (unmanned aerial vehicles).[1] Under the George W. Bush administration, these controversial attacks were called a part of the US' "War on Terrorism" and sought to defeat the Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants who were thought to have found a safe haven in Pakistan.[1] Most of these attacks are on targets in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghan border in Northwest Pakistan.

These strikes are mostly carried out by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) operated remotely from Creech Air Force Base and have continued under the Presidency of Barack Obama.[2][3] Generally the UAVs used are MQ-1 Predator and more recently MQ-9 Reaper firing AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The drones have become a weapon of choice for the United States in the fight against al-Qaeda.[4] Some media refer to the series of attacks as a "drone war".[5][6] Pakistan's government publicly condemns these attacks but has secretly shared intelligence with Americans[7] and also allegedly allowed the drones to operate from Shamsi airfield in Pakistan.[8]

Statistics

US Drone Strike Statistics[9]
Year Number of Drone Strikes Number Killed (Min) Number Killed (Max)
2004 1 4 5
2005 2 6 7
2006 2 23 23
2007 4 53 74
2008 34 263 296
2009 53 413 709
2010 113 558 937
Total 209 1,320 2,051

Timeline

2004 – 2007

2008

  • January 29, 2008: Abu Laith al-Libi killed in a strike in North Waziristan along with 11 other militants.[17][18]
  • February 27, 2008: 12 people killed in a strike near Kalosha village in South Waziristan.[19]
  • March 18, 2008: 16 killed in a strike in South Waziristan[20]
  • May 14, 2008: 12 including Abu Sulayman Al-Jazairi killed near village of Damadola, Bajaur.[21][22]
  • June 14, 2008: US drones fired three missiles at a potential hideout of TTP leader Meshud, killing one person.[23]
  • July 28, 2008: Midhat Mursi and 5 other Al-Qaeda operatives killed in South Waziristan.[18]
  • August 12, 2008: Nine killed in four strikes in the area near Angore Adda in South Waziristan during a meeting of militants.[24]
  • August 13, 2008: US drone strike on a compound run by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar killed Taliban commander Abdul Rehman, along with Islam Wazir, three Turkmen, and several Arab fighters. Up to 25 militants were killed in this strike.[25]
  • August 20, 2008: US drones fire two missiles that hit a compound in South Waziristan, killing 8 militants.[26]
  • August 30, 2008: Missile strike on Al-Qaeda training camp in South Waziristan kills two militants carrying Canadian passports.[27]
  • August 31, 2008: US drones destroy a house in Tappi village in Miranshah, killing 6 people and injuring 8 including 1 woman and 1 child.[28]
  • September 4, 2008: US drones fired missiles at a house in Char Khel in North Waziristan killing 4 people.[29]
  • September 5, 2008: US drones fire three missiles, destroying a house which was potentially hosting Arab foreign fighters, killing at least six.[30]
  • September 8, 2008: 23 killed in Daande Darpkhel airstrike, near Miranshah, North Waziristan.
  • September 12, 2008: The Miranshah airstrike kills 12 people including three women and two children.
  • September 17, 2008: US drone attack in Baghar Cheena region of South Waziristan kills 5 militants including Al Qaeda operative Abu Ubaydah al Tunisi.[31]
  • September 30, 2008: Six killed in a strike near Mir Ali, North Waziristan.[32]
  • October 3, 2008: Two drone attacks hours apart in Datta Khel region of North Waziristan kills 21 militants including 16 foreigners.[33]
  • October 9, 2008: US drone strike killed at least 6 militants including 3 Arabs in Tappi village near Miranshah, North Waziristan.[34]
  • October 11, 2008: US drone strike at a militant compound in North Waziristan kills 5 people and wounds 2 others.[35]
  • October 16, 2008: Senior Al-Qaeda leader Khalid Habib killed in a strike near Taparghai, South Waziristan, along with five other Al Qaeda or Taliban members.[36][37]
  • October 22, 2008: 4 killed in a village near Miranshah by missiles fired from suspected US drone.[38]
  • October 26, 2008: 20 killed in a strike in South Waziristan.[39]
  • October 31, 2008: Two missiles fired by US drones kills 7 in Wana, South Waziristan.[40]
  • October 31, 2008: 20 killed including Al-Qaeda operative Abu Akash and Mohammad Hasan Khalil al-Hakim (alias Abu Jihad al-Masri) after 4 missiles hit Waziristan.[18][41]
  • November 7, 2008: US drones fire four missiles, killing up to 14 militants in Kumsham, North Waziristan.[42]
  • November 14, 2008: 12 killed in a strike near Miranshah.[43]
  • November 19, 2008: Abdullah Azam al-Saudi and 4 other militants are killed in Bannu district.[18]
  • November 22, 2008: British Al-Qaeda operative Rashid Rauf and 4 others including Abu Zubair al-Masri killed in a strike in North Waziristan.[18][44]
  • November 29, 2008: US drone strike on Miranshah, North Waziristan kills 3 people.[45]
  • December 11, 2008: US drone strike in Azam Warzak, South Waziristan, kills 7 militants.[46]
  • December 15, 2008: US drone strike in Tapi Tool region near Miram Shah, North Waziristan kills 2.[47]
  • December 22, 2008: At least 8 killed in South Waziristan by suspected US drone strike.[48]

2009

January to June

File:MQ-9 Afghanistan takeoff 1 Oct 07.JPG

An MQ-9 Reaper taking off in Afghanistan.

  • January 1, 2009: 2 senior al-Qaeda leaders Usama al-Kini and Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan killed in a missile strike by U.S. drones.[18][49]
  • January 2, 2009: US drone strike in Ladha, South Waziristan kills 4 people.[50]
  • January 23, 2009: In the first attacks since Barack Obama became U.S. president, at least 14 killed in Waziristan in 2 separate attacks by 5 missiles fired from drones.[51]
  • February 14, 2009: More than 30 killed when two missiles are launched by drones near town of Makeen in South Waziristan.[52]
  • February 16, 2009: Strike in Kurram Valley kills 30, reportedly at a Taliban training camp for fighters preparing to combat coalition forces in Afghanistan.[27][53]
  • March 1, 2009: Strike in Sararogha village in South Waziristan kills 7 people.[54]
  • March 7, 2009: Taliban militants shot down one of the two UAVs over a village in South Waziristan.[55]
  • March 12, 2009: 24 killed in attack in Berju in Kurram Agency.[56]
  • March 15, 2009 4 killed in Jani Khel in Bannu district in North-West Frontier Province.[57]
  • March 25, 2009: 7 killed in attacks on 2 vehicles by two missiles in Makin area of South Waziristan at 6:30pm.[58]
  • March 26, 2009: 4 killed in Essokhel area in North Waziristan.[59]
  • April 1, 2009: 14 killed in Orakzai Agency tribal area.[60][61]
  • April 4, 2009: 13 killed in North Waziristan.[62]
  • April 8, 2009: 4 killed in attack on a vehicle in Gangi Khel in South Waziristan.[63]
  • April 19, 2009: At least 3 killed and 5 injured in an attack in South Waziristan[64]
  • April 29, 2009: US drone strike in Kanni Garam village in South Waziristan kills 6 people.[65]
  • May 9, 2009: US drone strike in Sararogha in South Waziristan kills 6 people.[66]
  • May 12, 2009: US drone strike in Sra Khawra village in South Waziristan kills 8 people.[67]
  • May 16, 2009: US drone strike in village of Sarkai Naki in North Waziristan kills 25 people.[68]
  • June 14, 2009: US drone strike on a vehicle in South Waziristan kills 5 people.[69]
  • June 18, 2009: Two US drone strikes in Shahalam village in South Waziristan kills at least 13 people.[70][71]
  • June 23, 2009: US drone strike in Neej Narai in South Waziristan kills at least 8 people.[72][73]
  • June 23, 2009: Makeen airstrike kills at least 80 but misses Baitullah Mehsud in the town of Makeen, many of which were attending the funerals of people killed in the air strikes earlier in the day.[74][75][76]

July to December

  • July 3, 2009: US Drone kills 17 people and injures a further 27.[77]
  • July 7, 2009: US drone strike in Zangarha in South Waziristan kills at least 12 people.[78]
  • July 8, 2009: US drone strike on a hideout in Karwan Manza area and on a vehicle convoy in South Waziristan kills at least 50 people.[79]
  • July 10, 2009: US drones take out a Taliban communication center killing between 5–8 militants in Painda Khel, South Waziristan.[80]
  • July 17, 2009: US drone strike on a house in North Waziristan kills 4 people.[81]
  • August 5, 2009: US drone strike in South Waziristan killed 12, including Baitullah Mehsud, his wife, and his wife's parents.[82][83] The kill was confirmed after weeks of uncertainty over their fate.[84][85][86][87][88]
  • August 11, 2009: US drone strike in Ladda village, South Waziristan, kills 10.[89]
  • August 21, 2009: US drone strike on the village of Darpa Kheil, North Waziristan, reportedly targeting Sirajuddin Haqqani kills at least 21 people.[90][91][92]
  • August 27, 2009: US drone missile strike on the Tapar Ghai area in the Kanigram (Kanigoram) district in South Waziristan kills at 8 people.[93][94] One of the dead was reportedly Tohir Yo‘ldosh (Tahir Yuldash), leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.[95][96]
  • September 8, 2009: US drone fired missiles kill 10 in North Waziristan.[97] The attack may have killed al Qaeda leaders Ilyas Kashmiri and Mustafa al Jaziri as well as three Punjabi militants and two or three local Taliban fighters.[98]
  • September 14, 2009: US drone fired missile kills four people in a car Template:Convert/mi from Mir Ali in North Waziristan.[99]
  • September 24, 2009: US drone fired missile kills up to 12 people in the village of Dande Darpa Khel near Mir Ali.[100]
  • September 29, 2009: Two missile attacks take place. In the first, a drone attack reportedly killed six Taliban, including two Uzbek fighters and Taliban commander Irfan Mehsud, in a compound in Sararogha village, South Waziristan. In the second, a missile killed seven insurgents in a house in Dandey Darpakhel village, North Waziristan.[101][102]
  • September 30, 2009: US drones fire missiles at a Taliban compound and vehicle killing 8 in Novak, North Waziristan.[103]
  • October 15, 2009: US drone missile killed at least four people in North Waziristan.[104]
  • October 21, 2009: Alleged US drone missile killed two or three alleged militants in Spalaga, North Waziristan in territory controlled by Hafiz Gul Bahadur.[105][106] One of those killed was reportedly Abu Ayyub al-Masri (not the same as Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader), an explosives expert for Al Qaeda and a "Tier 1" target of US counterterrorism operations.[107]
  • October 24, 2009: Alleged US drone strike killed 27, in Damadolla , inside Bajaur tribal agency.[108][109] The 27 victims were reportedly a mix of Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives engaged in a planning and strategy meeting. The dead apparently included 11 "foreigners". One of those reported killed was Faqir Mohammed's nephew, Zahid and another was Mohammed's unnamed son-in-law. The meeting was apparently being held to decide on whether to reinforce South Wazaristan against Pakistani forces, which Mohammed advocates, or exploit recent successes in the Nuristan and Kunar provinces of Afghanistan, which Al Qaeda wishes to do.[110]
  • November 5, 2009: 2 killed in Miranshah town in North Waziristan.[111]
  • November 18, 2009: 4 killed and 5 injured in Shanakhora village of North Waziristan, Template:Convert/mi south of Miranshah.[112][113]
  • November 20, 2009: 8 killed in the Machikhel area near the town of Mir Ali.[114]
  • December 8, 2009: 3 killed in a car near Miranshah in North Waziristan, reportedly including 2 Al Qaeda members.[37][115] Senior Al qaeda planner Saleh al-Somali, from Somalia, is believed killed in this strike.[116]
  • December 9, 2009: Six killed in Tanga, Ladha, South Waziristan, reportedly consisting of four Al Qaeda and two Taliban members.[37]
  • December 17, 2009: 17 killed in 2 separate attacks in North Waziristan in an area controlled by Hafiz Gul Bahadur. In the first attack, two missiles hit a car near Dosali, killing two. In the second attack, 10 missiles fired by five drones hit two compounds in Ambarshaga, killing 15 people. Unnamed sources stated that seven of the dead were "foreigners."[117][118]
  • December 18, 2009: 3 killed in an attack in Dattakhel region in North Waziristan.[119]
  • December 26, 2009: 13 killed in an attack in Saidgai village in North Waziristan[120]
  • December 30, 2009: A suicide bomber killed at least six CIA officers and seriously injured six others at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Afghanistan, which is used by the Central Intelligence Agency to coordinate drone attacks in Pakistan. The Haqqani network claimed responsibility.[121]
  • December 31, 2009: Four killed in an attack in Machikhel village in North Waziristan. According to The Frontier Post, senior Taliban leader and strong Haqqani ally Haji Omar Khan, brother of Arif Khan, was killed in the strike along with the son of local tribal leader Karim Khan.[121][122]

In January 2010, al Qaeda in Pakistan announced that Lashkar al-Zil leader Abdullah Said al Libi was killed in a drone missile strike. Neither al Qaeda nor the US has revealed the date of the attack which killed Libi, but it appears to have taken place in December 2009.[123]

2010

January to March

File:Twuav 13 02.jpeg

MQ-1L Predator UAV armed with AGM-114 Hellfire missile

  • January 1, 2010: Missile strike on a vehicle near Ghundikala village in North Waziristan kills 3.[124][125]
  • January 3, 2010: 5 people including 3 Arabs killed in an attack on Mosakki village in North Waziristan.[125][126]
  • January 6, 2010: 2 separate missile strikes one hour apart kill approximately 35 people in Sanzalai village, North Waziristan.[125][127][128]
  • January 8, 2010: Missile strike in Tappi village in North Waziristan killed 5 people. It is alleged that all the militants killed were local and were attached to Taliban Commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur.[125][129]
  • January 9, 2010: 4 killed and three injured when 2 missiles are fired on a compound in village Ismail Khan in North Waziristan, territory of the Haqqani network.[130] Mahmoud Mahdi Zeidan, bodyguard for al Qaeda leader Sayeed al-Masri, was reported killed in either the January 8 or 9 airstrike.[131] Jamal Saeed Abdul Rahim who was allegedly involved in hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in 1986 was also reported killed in this strike.[125][132]
  • January 13, 2010: Missile strike in Pasalkot village in a compound formerly used as a religious school in North Waziristan killed 15 people among them 3 militant commanders.[133] The apparent target of the strike was, Hakimullah Mehsud, who reportedly left the compound before the attack occurred.[134]
  • January 15, 2010: Missile strike in Zannini village near Mir Ali in North Waziristan kills up to 15 people, probably including Abdul Basit Usman, an al-Qaeda terrorist.[125][135]
  • January 15, 2010: Second missile strike of the day kills 6 in Bichi village in North Waziristan.[135]
  • January 17, 2010: Missile strike in Shaktoi area of South Waziristan kills at least 20 people.[136] The leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud sustained injuries in this attack. It was initially believed he died but it was later learned that he survived.[137]
  • January 19, 2010: Two missiles fired at a compound and vehicle in Booya village of Datakhel sub-division, 35 km west of Miranshah, in North Waziristan kills 9 people.[125][138]
  • January 29, 2010: 15 killed when drones fire 3 missiles on a compound belonging to Haqqani network in Muhammad Khel town in North Waziristan.[125][139][140][141]
  • February 2, 2010: Up to 8 US drones fired missiles at 4 different villages of North Waziristan killing at least 29 people.[142][143]
  • February 14, 2010: 5 killed in a strike near Mir Ali in North Waziristan.[144]
  • February 15, 2010: Abdul Haq al-Turkistani, leader of the Turkistani Islamic Party, is killed by a drone missile strike in North Waziristan.[145]
  • February 17, 2010: Three militants killed by a missile strike near Tapi, Miramshah, North Waziristan. One of those killed was reportedly Sheikh Mansoor, a commander in the Lashkar al Zil.[146]
  • February 18, 2010: 4 killed in a strike in Northwest Waziristan including Mohammed Haqqani, the brother of Afghan Taliban commander Siraj who leads the Haqqani network.[147][148] The missiles hit a vehicle belonging to Siraj that Mohammed was riding in, but Siraj was not in the vehicle at the time.[149] Mohammed and Siraj were reportedly attending the funeral of Sheikh Mansoor, who had been killed by a drone strike the day before.[146][147][148]
  • February 24, 2010: Missiles fired by a US drone killed at least 13 militants at a compound and at a vehicle in the Dargah Mandi area of North Waziristan. Among the dead include Bahadar Mansoor, head of Badar Mansoor group, and Rana Afzal, the man behind the FIA HQ bombing in Lahore. Mohammed Qari Zafar, the head of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the person responsible for the 2002 and 2006 bombing of the U.S. consulate in Karachi was thought to be killed in this Drone strike but it was later proved that he survived the attack.[150][151][152][153] He died on June 14, 2010 when he accidentally touched some explosives which set them off killing him in the ensuing explosion in a guesthouse he was staying in North Waziristan.[154]
  • March 8, 2010: Three missiles fired by US drone aircraft killed five militants and wounded three in Miranshah.[155] It is alleged that Hussein al-Yemeni (also called Sadam Hussein Al Hussami), an Al Qaeda terrorist who planned the Camp Chapman attack died in this strike.[156]
  • March 10, 2010: Missiles fired from drones struck a compound and three vehicles in the village of Mizar Madakhel in North Waziristan. The attack killed at least 12 and as many as 21 militants. Five drones reportedly attacked in two waves. First, four missiles struck and demolished the compound. After local militants cordoned off the area and began recovering bodies, a second volley of missiles struck. Hafiz Gul Bahadar, a local Taliban leader and chief of the North Waziristan Shura, may have been killed in the strike.[157][158]
  • March 16, 2010: Eight to ten militants were killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan's Datakhel area.[159][160] The militants were reportedly al Qaeda fighters, mainly Afghan, but included two officials from Syria and Egypt.[161]
  • March 17, 2010: Two US Drone strikes killed 9 militants. In the first attack, the drones fired four missiles at a vehicle and a militant hide-out in Miranshah, killing six militants. About 50 minutes later, drones fired 3 missiles at a vehicle in Madakhel, killing 3 militants.[162]
  • March 21, 2010: US drone fires two missiles in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan killing at least eight people and injuring several others.[163]
  • March 23, 2010: US drones fired two missiles on a militant vehicle parked outside a compound in the suburbs of Miranshah in North Waziristan. At least six militants were killed and three others were wounded.[164]
  • March 27, 2010: Drone strike in Mir Ali in North Waziristan kills 4 militants.[165]
  • March 30, 2010: US drone fired three missiles, destroying a compound owned by Zamir Khan, a local tribesman, and used by militants in the city of Tapi in North Waziristan killing six militants.[166]

April to June

  • April 12, 2010: 2 missiles fired by a US drone kill 5 in North Waziristan.[167]
  • April 14, 2010: US drone strike targeting a vehicle killed up to 4 people and injuring 4 others in Anbarshaga area of North Waziristan. All of the dead and injured were Arab militants.[168][169]
  • April 16, 2010: US drones fired at least 7 missiles which hit two vehicles and a house in the Toolkhel area near Miramshah in North Waziristan killing 6 people and injuring 5 others.[170]
  • April 24, 2010: US drones kill 7 militants in North Waziristan in the village of Marsi Khel near Miramshah.[171]
  • April 26, 2010: Three missiles from drones strike a compound in the Khushali Toorkhel area, about 25 km east of Miranshah, North Waziristan, killing four or five. A Pakistani security official stated that those killed were militant followers of local rebel commander Haleem Khan. The official added that Khan has ties to regional Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur.[172][173]
  • May 3, 2010: 4 militants are killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan [174]
  • May 9, 2010: 10 militants are killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan [175][176]
  • May 11, 2010: At least 24 militants are killed in two separate US drone strikes in which the US fired up to 18 missiles. The first strike occurred when missiles struck cars, homes and tents in the Doga area of North Waziristan killing up to 14 militants. Hours later another pair of missiles hit a compound in the Gorwek area of North Waziristan killing another 10 suspected insurgents, including the brother of a reputed Taliban commander, Maulvi Kalam.[177][178]
  • May 15, 2010: At least 15 killed in Khyber Agency in the first such strike in this area.[179][180]
  • May 21, 2010: US drones fired two missiles on a compound used by Afghan warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadur and killed 10 people in Mohammad Khel, North Waziristan. Saeed al-Masri, the current 3rd in command of Al-Qaeda was killed in this strike along with his wife and 3 children.[181][182] Other dead in this strike include two foreign militants, one of whom was reportedly Filipino. Five women and two children were reported injured.[183]
  • May 28, 2010: US drone strike killed 11 militants and wounded three others in the Nazai Narai area of South Waziristan.[184]
  • June 10, 2010: US drone strike killed 3 people in North Waziristan.[185]
  • June 11, 2010: US drones fired 6 missiles on a housing compound near Miran Shah at the Afghan-Pakistan border, killing 15 alleged militants.[186]
  • June 19, 2010: US drone fired a missile striking a house in Haider Khel village near North Waziristan's Mir Ali town killing 16 militants.[187] Al Qaeda leader Abu Ahmed Tarkash was among the dead.[188][189]
  • June 26, 2010:A US missile strike killed 7 militants in Pakistan's tribal region near the Afghan border. The missile, fired by an unmanned drone, destroyed a house near Mir Ali in North Waziristan. One of the dead men was a foreigner.[190]
  • June 27, 2010: A drone strike in North Waziristan killed 5 militants.[191]
  • June 29, 2010: US drone fired two missiles hitting a house near in Wana, South Waziristan killing at least 8 militants including Hamza al-Jufi an Egyptian militant belonging to Al Qaeda.[192][193]

July to September

  • July 15, 2010: A drone strike in North Waziristan killed 14 suspected militants in a region under the control of Hafiz Gul Bahadar.[194][195][196]
  • July 24, 2010: US drones fired two missiles at a militant compound in Nazai Narai area of South Waziristan killing 16 militants.[197]
  • July 25, 2010: US drones fired two missiles and hit a double-cabin pickup carrying militants in Shaktoi village in South Waziristan. Taliban sources said 14 militants were killed and two others were injured in the attack. The militants belonged to the Hakimullah Mehsud-led Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).[198]
  • July 25, 2010: US drones launched their second strike of the day when two missiles hit a house where some militants were having dinner in Landikhel village of Srarogha Tehsil in South Waziristan. Four militants that belonged to TTP were killed and five others sustained injuries.[198]
  • July 25, 2010: US drones launched their unprecedented third strike on the same day when they fired two missiles at a house in Taipi village near Miran Shah, the main town in North Waziristan, killing 7 suspected militants.[199]
  • August 14, 2010: US drone fired three missiles at a compound in Mir Ali, North Waziristan, killing at least 13 militants including Taliban commander, Amir Moaviya.[200][201]
  • August 21, 2010: A US drone strike near Miran Shah, North Waziristan, kills 6 militants.[202]
  • August 23, 2010: Missiles fired from US drones in North Waziristan kill 13 militants and seven civilians. Four women and three children are among the dead.[203]
  • August 27, 2010: Missiles fired from US drones in the Kurram Agency hit 2 vehicle killing 5 suspected militants, the first such reported drone strike in the Kurram Agency.[204]
  • September 3, 2010: 2 separate drone strikes kill 12–15 suspected militants in North Waziristan.[205] The first strike was near Miramshah, killing six "local" militants according to Dawn. The second strike was near Data Khel, targeting the home of Gul Adam, and killed nine militants. SAMAA TV reported that a local Taliban commander named Inayatullah was reportedly killed in the strike.[206][207]
  • September 4, 2010: US drones struck a compound in Datta Khel village in North Waziristan district killed eight militants including three foreign fighters.[208]
  • September 6, 2010: A US drone strike in North Waziristan kills 6 suspected militants.[209]
  • September 8, 2010: US drones launch four separate attacks in a space of 24 hours. According to anonymous Pakistani intelligence officials: In the first attack, a house owned by Maulvi Azizullah, a member of the Haqqani network, in Dande Darpa Khel near Miranshah was struck killing at least 6 militants.[210] In the second attack, drones fired missiles striking a car traveling a few miles from the border, killing four people associated with the Haqqani network. In the third attack, another house near the Miranshah area was struck killing another 4 militants.[211] A few hours later US drones launched their fourth attack striking a compound outside Miranshah killing at least 6 militants and wounding 5 others. All told 24 militants have been killed in these 4 strikes.[212]
  • September 11, 2010: A US drone strike on the house of Hafiz Gul Bahadur in North Waziristan kills 5 suspected militants.[213]
  • September 13, 2010: A US drone fires two missiles at a house in Shawal, North Waziristan, reportedly killing 13 militants.[214][215]
  • September 14, 2010: A US drone strike kills 12 militants in Dargah Mandi near Miran Shah, North Waziristan. The numerous strikes in September are reportedly part of a campaign against the Haqqqni Network. The drone strikes in Pakistan against the network are meant to support concurrent special operations raids against the network's fighters in Afghanistan.[216][217]
  • September 15, 2010: In an ongoing unprecedented drone offensive, a drone strike kills 4 militants in North Waziristan, including Saifullah Haqqani, first cousin of Haqqani Network leader Sirajuddin Haqqani.[218]
  • September 16, 2010: US drones fired missiles at a house in Datakhel area, killing six militants.[219]
  • September 19, 2010: US drones fire missiles at a house in Datta Khel, North Waziristan killing 5 militants.[220]
  • September 20, 2010: US drones launch two strikes killing a total of 12 militants in North Waziristan, the first volley hit a vehicle in the Datakhel region killing 5, the second hit a house in Miran Shah killing 7.[221][222]
  • September 21, 2010: A US drone strike kills 16 militants in the South-North Waziristan border region, including Taliban commander Mullah Shamsullah.[223]
  • September 25, 2010: A US drone fired three missiles hitting a vehicle killing 4 militants in Datta Khel village of North Waziristan. Among the dead was Sheikh Fateh Al Misri, Al-Qaeda's new 3rd in command.[224][225] Al Misri was planning a major terrorist attack in London, Paris or Berlin by recruiting British Muslims who would then go on a shooting rampage throughout these cities similar to what transpired in Mumbai in November 2008. The plan was thought to be its final stages and the stepped up drone campaign in September was done to disrupt and eliminate the key planners of this terrorist attack.[226]
  • September 26, 2010: US drones launch two strikes against militants killing 7. In the first strike, drone fired three missiles at a house in Lwara Mandi village in Datta Khel, killing 3 militants. Minutes later, a drone fired two missiles at a vehicle in the same area, killing 4 militants.[227]
  • September 27, 2010: A US drone strike in Miran Shah, North Waziristan, kills 6 militants.[228]
  • September 28, 2010: US drone fired missile at a compound Zeba village, west of Wana, South Waziristan killing 4 militants.[229]

October to December

  • October 2, 2010: US drones launch two separate strikes killing 17 militants. In the first attack drones fired two missile at a house in Datta Khel killing 9 militants including 4 foreigners. The dead were members of the Badar Mansur group, which is closely affiliated with Al Qaeda. Four hours later another strike occurred in the same area on a convoy of vehicles and a house killing another 8 militants.[230]
  • October 4, 2010: US drones strike a mosque in Mirali, North Waziristan, reportedly killing 8 suspected militants of German nationality.[231]
  • October 6, 2010: Two US drone strikes by Miran Shah, North Waziristan, kill a total of 11 militants.[232]
  • October 7, 2010: A US drone strike on a compound in North Waziristan kills 5 militants, included one of the Al Qaeda leaders Atiyah Abd al-Rahman.[233][234]
  • October 8, 2010: US drone strikes by Miran Shah, North Waziristan, kill a total of 6 militants according to an unnamed intelligence officials, who was not authorized to speak to the media.[235]
  • October 10, 2010: Drones fire 4 missiles on 2 vehicles and kill at least 8 suspected militants in the Shewa District of North Waziristan.[236]
  • October 13, 2010: Drone attacks kill 11 militants in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan.[237]
  • October 15, 2010: Two US drone strikes kill 13 suspected militants. The first drone strike killed six suspected militants in North Waziristan's Machi Khel area. Officials said two missiles hit an alleged militant vehicle. Later this day the second drone strike killed 7 suspected militants in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan.[238]
  • October 18, 2010: A drone strike in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan kills 6 militants.[239]
  • October 27, 2010: Two US drone strikes 12 hours apart killed 7 militants. The first strike was on a house of militant Nasimullah Khan which killed 4 militants. The second strike was on a vehicle in Datta Khel kill which killed 3 militants.[240]
  • October 28, 2010: A US drone strike in the Datta Khel area kills 7 militants.[241]
  • November 1, 2010: US-operated drones fired four missiles at a house in the Mir Ali District of North Wazaristan, killing five or six suspected militants.[242][243]
  • November 3, 2010: US drones launch three separate attacks killing 13 militants. In the first attack, drones fired two missiles at a vehicle in the Qutab Khel area of Miran Shah killing 5 Uzbek militants. In the second attack, missiles struck a house and a vehicle in Khaso Khel village, near Mir Ali, killing 4 militants. In the third attack, four missiles were fired hitting a vehicle in Pai Khel village in Datta Khel town, killing 4 militants.[244]
  • November 7, 2010: Two US drones strikes kill a total 13 or 14 militants in the Miran Shah area of North Waziristan. In the first attack, drones struck a house and a vehicle in the town of Ghulam Khan, north of Miran Shah killing 9 militants. The second attack occurred an hour later in which drones stuck several vehicles in the neighboring town of Datta Khel, killing 4 militants.[245][246]
  • November 11, 2010: A US drone strike kills 6 suspected militants in North Waziristan.[247] The militants were reportedly Haqqani Network fighters returning from operations in Khost Province, Afghanistan.[248]
  • November 13, 2010: A US drone strike kills five people in the village of Ahmad Khel in the Mir Ali area in North Waziristan. A Geo News correspondent reported from the attack site that the deceased seemed to be ordinary citizens, not terrorists.[249][250]
  • November 16, 2010: Four drone-fired missiles hit a house and vehicle in Bangi Dar village of North Waziristan, killing 15 to 20 people, possibly including civilians.[251][252]
  • November 19, 2010: One US drone strike kills 3 suspected militants in the region of North Waziristan.[253]
  • November 21, 2010: A US drone strike near Miran Shah, North Waziristan, kills 6 suspected militants.[254]
  • November 22, 2010: A US drone strike fired missiles at a car and a motorcycle in North Waziristan killing 5 alleged militants.[255]
  • November 26, 2010: A US drone strike fired missiles at a vehicle in North Waziristan killing 4 alleged militants.[256]
  • November 28, 2010: US drone missiles strike a vehicle in Hasan Khel village, around 30 kilometers east of Miranshah. Initial reports indicated the strike killed 3 or 4 militants.[257] Local officials, however, later reported that the suspected militants had survived the strike by fleeing the targeted vehicle after the first missile missed.[258]
  • December 6, 2010: A US drone strike in Khushali village, North Waziristan, kills 5 people.[259]
  • December 9, 2010: At least four suspected militants are killed by a US drone strike on a vehicle in Mir Ali, North Waziristan.[260]
  • December 14, 2010: At least four suspected militants were killed by a US drone strike on a vehicle in North Waziristan.[261][262][263]
  • December 15, 2010: US drone strike targeting a vehicle kills 7 suspected militants in Spin Drand area of Khyber.[264][265]
  • December 17, 2010: At least 60 suspected militants were killed in 3 US drones strikes what is the highest death toll this year. According to security officials all the dead are suspected militants. - a claim that cannot be independently confirmed. The first strike occurred at a compound in Speen Drang where pro-Taliban militants from the Lashkar-e-Islam group were holding a meeting killing over 32. The second strike occurred in Nakai, Khyber hitting a compound killing around 15. The last strike occurred at yet another compound in Sangana, Khyber killing 6. According to unnamed official sources 39 of the killed belonged to Lashkar-e-Islam while 15 were Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. [266][267][268][269]

US viewpoint

Barack Obama authorized the continuation of these strikes after he became US president.[270] Top US officials consider these strikes very successful and believe that the senior al-Qaeda leadership has been decimated by these strikes.[271][272] A list of the high-ranking victims of the drones was provided to Pakistan in 2009.[273] Obama has broadened these attacks to include targets seeking to destabilize Pakistani civilian government and the attacks of February 14 and 16, 2009 were against training camps run by Baitullah Mehsud.[274] On February 25, 2009 Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA indicated the strikes will continue.[275] On March 4, 2009 The Washington Times reported that the drones were targeting Baitullah Mehsud.[276] Obama was reported in March 2009 as considering expanding these strikes to include Balochistan [277]

On March 25, 2010 US State Department legal advisor Harold Koh stated that the drone strikes were legal because of the right to self-defense. According to Koh, the US is involved in an armed conflict with al-Qaida, the Taliban, and their affiliates and therefore may use force consistent with self-defense under international law.[278]

US officials stated in March 2009 that the Predator strikes had killed nine of al-Qaeda's 20 top commanders. The officials added that many top Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders, as a result of the strikes, had fled to Quetta or even further to Karachi.[279]

Some US politicians have condemned the drone strikes. US Congressman Dennis Kucinich asserted that the United States was violating international law by carrying out strikes against a country that never attacked the United States.[280]

US military reports asserted that al-Qaeda is being slowly but systematically routed because of these attacks, and that they have served to sow the seeds of uncertainty and discord among their ranks. They also claimed that the drone attacks have addled and confused the Taliban, and have led them to turn against each other.[281] In July 2009 it was reported that (according to US officials) Osama Bin Laden's son Saad bin Laden was believed to have been killed in a drone attack earlier in the year.[282]

During a protest against drone attacks, in an event sponsored by Nevada Desert Experience, Father Louie Vitale, Kathy Kelly, Stephen Kelly, SJ, Eve Tetaz, John Dear, and others were arrested outside Creech Air Force Base on Wednesday April 9, 2009.[283][284]

In May 2009 it was reported that the USA was sharing drone intelligence with Pakistan.[285] Leon Panetta reiterated on May 19, 2009 that the US intended to continue the drone attacks.[286]

On July 14, 2009, Daniel L. Byman of the Brookings Institution stated that although accurate data on the results of drone strikes is difficult to obtain, it seemed that ten civilians had died in the drone attacks for every militant killed.[287] He suggested that the real answer to halting al-Qaeda's activity in Pakistan will be long-term support of Pakistan's counterinsurgency efforts.[288]

In December 2009 expansion of the drone attacks was authorized by President Barack Obama to parallel the decision to send 30,000 more American troops to Afghanistan.[289] Senior US officials are reportedly pushing for extending the strikes into Quetta in Balochistan against the Quetta Shura.[290] Speaking at a news conference in Islamabad on January 7, 2010 Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman stated the drone attacks were effective and would continue but stated that US would make greater efforts to prevent collateral damage.[291] In an effort to strenghthen trust with Pakistan 'US sharing drone surveillance data with Pakistan, says Mike Mullen '[292] US defence budget for 2011 asked for a 75% increase in funds to enhance the drone operations.[293]

The Associated Press (AP) noted that Barack Obama apparently expanded the scope and increased the aggressiveness of the drone campaign against militants in Pakistan after taking office. According to the news agency, the US increased strikes against the Pakistani Taliban, which earned favor from the Pakistani government, resulting in increased cooperation from Pakistani intelligence services. Also, the Obama administration toned down the US government's public rhetoric against Islamic terrorism, garnering better cooperation from other Islamic governments. Furthermore, with the drawdown of the war in Iraq, more drones, support personnel, and intelligence assets became available for the campaigns in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since Obama took office, according to the AP, the number of drones operated by the CIA over Afghanistan and Pakistan doubled.[294] A May 2010 Reuters report quoted unnamed counterterrorism officials who speculated that the Obama administration's closure of the secret CIA interrogation centers and intent to close the Guantanamo Bay prison was a direct influence on the expansion of the drone targeted killings. According to the officials, the killings are necessary because there is no longer any place to put captured terrorists.[295]

A study called 'The Year of the Drone" published in February 2010 by New America Foundation found that in a total of 114 drone strikes in Pakistan between 2004 and early 2010 approximately between 834 and 1,216 individuals had been killed, about two thirds of whom were thought to be militants and one third were civilians.[296]

Pakistani response

File:Image said to be Predator drone aircraft at Shamsi Airbase in Pakistan -- no longer available on Google Earth..jpg

Shamsi airbase in 2006, reported to show three Predator drones.[297]

Pakistan has repeatedly protested these attacks as they are an infringement of its sovereignty and because civilian deaths have also resulted, including women and children, which has further angered the Pakistani government and people.[298][299][300] General David Petraeus was told in November 2008 that these strikes were unhelpful.[301] However on October 4, 2008 The Washington Post reported that there was a secret deal between the US and Pakistan allowing these drone attacks.[302] US Senator Dianne Feinstein said in February 2009: “As I understand it, these are flown out of a Pakistani base.”[303] Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi denied that this was true.[304]

Between November 2008 and January 2009 Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy (AIRRA), a think tank of researchers and activists from FATA and NWFP conducted a survey of the public opinion about the drone strikes in Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Five teams of five researchers each interviewed 550 people from all walks of life.[289] Based on the responses the researchers concluded 'The popular notion outside the Pakhtun belt that a large majority of the local population supports the Taliban movement lacks substance'. Most people thought that the drone attacks were accurate and did not lead to anti-American sentiment and were effective in damaging the militants. In addition the locals wanted the Pakistani forces to also target the militants.[305] According to Farhat Taj a member of AIRRA the drones have never killed any civilians. Some people in Waziristan compare the drones to Ababils , the holy swallows sent by God to avenge Abraha, the invader of the Khana Kaaba.[306]

In September 28, a spokesman for the Pakistani army condemned Washington's killing of Pakistani civilians and warned of retaliatory action: "Border violations by US-led forces in Afghanistan, which have killed scores of Pakistani civilians, would no longer be tolerated, and we have informed them that we reserve the right to self defense and that we will retaliate if the US continues cross-border attacks."[307]

The British newspaper The Times stated on February 18, 2009 that the CIA was using Shamsi airfield, Template:Convert/mi southwest of Quetta and Template:Convert/mi from the Afghan border, as its base for drone operations. Safar Khan, a journalist based in the area near Shamsi, told the Times, "We can see the planes flying from the base. The area around the base is a high-security zone and no one is allowed there."[308] [308] Top US officials confirmed to Fox News Channel that Shamsi airfield had been used by the CIA to launch the drones since 2002.[297]

The drone attacks continue, despite repeated requests made by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari through different channels.[309][310] Baitullah Mehsud while claiming responsibility for the 2009 Lahore police academy attacks, stated that it was in retaliation for the drone attacks.[311] According to The Daily Telegraph, Pakistani intelligence has agreed to secretly provide information to the United States on Mehsud's and his militants' whereabouts while publicly the Pakistani government will continue to condemn the attacks.[312] According to Pakistani authorities, from January 14, 2006 to April 8, 2009, 60 U.S. strikes against Pakistan killed 701 people, of which 14 were Al-Qaeda militants and 687 innocent civilians.[313]

On April 28, 2009 Pakistan's consul general to the US, Aqil Nadeem, asked the US to hand over control of its drones in Pakistan to his government. Said Nadeem, "Do we want to lose the war on terror or do we want to keep those weapons classified? If the American government insists on our true cooperation, then they should also be helping us in fighting those terrorists."[314] President Zardari has also requested that Pakistan be given control over the drones but this has been rejected by the US who are worried that Pakistanis will leak information about targets to militants.[68] In December 2009 Pakistan's Defence minister Ahmad Mukhtar acknowledged that Americans were using Shamsi airfield but stated that Pakistan was not satisfied with payments for using the facility.[315]

In an analysis published in Daily Times on January 2, 2010 author Farhat Taj challenged the view that the local people of Waziristan were against the drone attacks. Author states on the basis of personal interviews with people in Waziristan that the locals in Waziristan support the attacks and see the drones as their 'liberators' from the clutches of Taliban and Pakistan's Intelligence agencies. She further challenged the government of Pakistan to provide accurate figures about the 'civilian' casualties and tell what methodology was used to collect this data. According to her 'The people of Waziristan are suffering a brutal kind of occupation under the Taliban and al Qaeda. It is in this context that they would welcome anyone, Americans, Israelis, Indians or even the devil, to rid them of the Taliban and al Qaeda.'[316] In response to this analysis Irfan Husain writing in Dawn agreed with her assessment and called for more drone attacks. He wrote 'We need to wake up to the reality that the enemy has grown very strong in the years we temporized and tried to do deals with them. Clearly, we need allies in this fight. Howling at the moon is not going to get us the cooperation we so desperately need. A solid case can be made for more drone attacks, not less.[317]

In December 2010 the CIA's Station Chief in Islamabad operating under the alias Jonathan Banks was hastily pulled from the country.[318][319] Lawsuits filed by families of victims of drone strikes had named Banks as a defendant, he had been receiving death threats, and a Pakistani journalist whose brother and son died in a drone strike called for prosecuting Banks for murder.[320][321]

United Nations human rights concerns

On June 3, 2009, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) delivered a report sharply critical of US tactics. The report asserted that the US government has failed to keep track of civilian casualties of its military operations, including the drone attacks, and to provide means for citizens of affected nations to obtain information about the casualties and any legal inquests regarding them.[322] Any such information held by the U.S. military is allegedly inaccessible to the public due to the high level of secrecy surrounding the drone attacks program.[323] The US representative at UNHRC has argued that the UN investigator for extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions does not have jurisdiction over US military actions,[322] while another US diplomat claimed that the US military is investigating any wrongdoing and doing all it can to furnish information about the deaths.[324]

On October 27, 2009 UNHRC investigator Philip Alston called on the US to demonstrate that it was not randomly killing people in violation of international law through its use of drones on the Afghan border. Alston criticized the US's refusal to respond to date to the UN's concerns. Said Alston, "Otherwise you have the really problematic bottom line, which is that the Central Intelligence Agency is running a program that is killing significant numbers of people and there is absolutely no accountability in terms of the relevant international laws."[325]

On June 2, 2010 Alston's team released a report on its investigation into the drone strikes, criticizing the United States for being, "the most prolific user of targeted killings" in the world. Alston, however, acknowledged that the drone attacks may be justified under the right to self-defense. He called on the US to be more open about the program. Alston's report was submitted to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights the following day.[326]

Interviews with people from Waziristan

Between November 2008 and January 2009 Pakistani Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy conducted a survey of the public opinion about the drone strikes in Federally Administered Tribal Areas. 5 teams of 5 researchers each interviewed a total of 550 people from all walks of life. Most people thought that the drone attacks were accurate and did not lead to anti-American sentiment and were effective in damaging the militants.[327]

In an analysis published in Daily Times (Pakistan) on January 2, 2010 Farhat Taj, a research fellow at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Research, University of Oslo and a member of Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy discussed the issue of drone attacks with hundreds of people of Waziristan. She claims that they see the US drone attacks as their liberators from the clutches of Islamist militiants into which, they say, their state has wilfully thrown them. She claims that estimates about civilian casualties in the US and Pakistani media are wrong because after every attack Islamist militiants cordon off the area and no one, including the local villagers, is allowed to come even near the targeted place. The militants themselves collect the bodies, bury the dead and then issue the statement that all of them were innocent civilians. However, according to the people of Waziristan, the only civilians who have been killed so far in the drone attacks are women or children of the militants in whose houses/compounds they hold meetings. But that used to happen in the past and now they don’t hold meetings at places where women and children of the militants reside. In one case when the funeral procession of an Islamist commander was hit and some civilians were killed. But after the attack people got the excuse of not attending the funeral of slain militants or offering them food.

Farhat Taj claims that locals usually appreciate drone attacks when they compare it with the Pakistan Army’s attacks, which always result in collateral damage. People said that when a drone would hover over the skies, they wouldn’t be disturbed and would carry on their usual business because they would be sure that it does not target the civilians, but the same people would run for shelter when a Pakistani jet would appear in the skies because of its indiscriminate firing. They say that even in the same compound only the exact room — where a high value target (HVT) is present — is targeted and others in the same compound are spared.[328]

In response to this analysis Irfan Husain writing in Dawn agreed with Farhat Taj's assessment and called for more drone attacks. He wrote: "We need to wake up to the reality that the enemy has grown very strong in the years we temporized and tried to do deals with them. Clearly, we need allies in this fight. Howling at the moon is not going to get us the cooperation we so desperately need. A solid case can be made for more drone attacks, not less."[329]

Drone weapons

According to media reports, in 2009 or 2010 CIA drones began employing smaller missiles in airstrikes in Pakistan in order to reduce collateral damage, including civilian casualties. The new missiles, called the Small Smart Weapon or Scorpion, are reportedly about the size of a violin case (21 inches long) and weigh 16 kg. The missiles are used in combination with new technology to increase accuracy and expanded surveillance, including the use of small, unarmed drones about the size of "pizza platters" to exactly pinpoint the location of targets. The US hopes that civilian casualties will decrease, thereby decreasing public outrage over the missile strikes.[330][331]

See also

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  328. Drone attacks: challenging some fabrications by Farhat Taj
  329. Howling at the moon, Dawn (newspaper), 2010-01-09
  330. Agence France-Presse-Jiji Press, "CIA using smaller missiles: report", Japan Times, April 27, 2010, p. 7.
  331. Warrick, Joby, and Peter Finn, Amid outrage over civilian deaths in Pakistan, CIA turns to smaller missiles, Washington Post, April 26, 2010

External links

Template:U.S. strikes in Bajour/Waziristan Template:Afghanistan War

fr:Attaques aériennes américaines au Pakistan pl:Lista amerykańskich nalotów w Pakistanie ur:پاکستان پر امریکی ڈرون حملے

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