The AfPak Reader

September 10, 2009

Mainlining Bill Roggio – Summer 2009 – Week 3 – Volume 4

Filed under: Enemy Profiles,Journalist Chronicles,Predator Strikes,Summer 2009 — huntingnasrallah @ 6:01 pm

Mainlining Bill Roggio – Summer 2009 – Week 3 – Volume 4

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/07/us_predator_strike_o.php

US Predator strike on Taliban camp kills 8 in South Waziristan
By Bill Roggio
July 8, 2009 7:42 AM

US Predator strike aircraft attacked a Taliban training camp run by Baitullah Mehsud in the mountains of South Waziristan.

A swarm of Predators fired at least six missiles at the training camp in Karwan Manza early in the morning. Eight Taliban fighters were killed during the airstrike, according to reports.

The Karwan Manza camp was featured in a Taliban propaganda video obtained by AfPax Insider. In the video, Taliban fighters are seen conducting various firing drills with assault rifles. The location of the camp is easily discerned; there is a large communications tower in the background and power lines are running parallel to the camp.

The Taliban, al Qaeda, and allied terror groups are known to run more than 150 train camps in Pakistan’s tribal areas and in the Northwest Frontier Province.

Today’s attack is the second in 24 hours. Yesterday’s strike on a Taliban training camp in the village of Zangra in the Ladha region killed 12 Taliban and four al Qaeda fighters.

South Waziristan is a major focus of the US air campaign against al Qaeda and the Taliban. Of the 28 US strikes carried out in Pakistan this year, 20 of them took place in South Waziristan.

Baitullah Mehsud’s territory has been hit 12 times and Mullah Nazir’s areas have been hit eight times. Both Nazir and Baitullah host al Qaeda training camps and shelter senior leaders of the terror group. Seven of the last nine attacks have targeted Baitullah’s camps and safe houses.

The US is well on its way to exceeding last year’s total of 36 airstrikes in Pakistan.

***Compiler’s Note***AfPax Insider Video link at LWJ link
________________________
Extended Notes (Roggio’s Link)

1) http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/07/us_predator_strike_k.php

US Predator strike kills 16 Taliban and al Qaeda in South Waziristan
By Bill Roggio
July 7, 2009 9:15 AM

The US killed 12 Taliban and four al Qaeda fighters in the latest airstrike in Pakistan’s Taliban-ruled tribal agency of South Waziristan.

Unmanned US Predator strike aircraft struck a Taliban training camp in the village of Zangra in the Ladha region, an area controlled by Baitullah Mehsud.

Today’s Predator strike takes place as the Pakistani military is in the opening phase of its operation to destroy Baitullah’s network in South Waziristan. The military has conducted air and artillery attacks to soften up Taliban positions and in late June was reported to be moving ground troops forward while working to secure the main road in the tribal agency. The military has been bombing Taliban positions and conducting artillery strikes for over three weeks.

The Pakistani military has delayed the launching of the ground operation, and senior Taliban leaders are believed to have fled the region in anticipation of the attack. Baitullah is rumored to have left South Waziristan and is said to be sheltering in Mir Ali in neighboring North Waziristan, under the care of Taliban leader Hafiz Gul Bahadar, who has ended his peace agreement with the government.

Today’s strikes are the third this week. A pair of Predator strikes on Taliban camps in South Waziristan July 3 killed 13 Taliban fighters, according to reports from the region.

The US took aim at the senior Taliban and a Qaeda leadership in South Waziristan late last month when US Predators killed a mid-level Taliban commander loyal to Baitullah Mehsud on June 23, then followed up with an attack on his funeral procession that same day.

The second strike on June 23 killed 83 Taliban fighters and civilians, according to reports.
Along with Baitullah, Qari Hussain Mehsud, a senior commander in Baitullah’s network, and Mullah Sangeen Zadran, a field commander in the Haqqani Network in Afghanistan, were the targets of the June 23 strikes. The three Taliban leaders survived the attack.

One week earlier, the US launched a flurry of Predator strikes in South Waziristan that coincided with an important meeting between Baitullah and a senior delegation of Taliban and al Qaeda leaders to discuss the military’s operation in South Waziristan. Among those in attendance were Siraj Haqqani, Abu Yahya al Libi, Abdul Haq, and two senior deputies of Mullah Abdullah Zakir. The US appears to have targeted al Qaeda’s senior leadership as it met with Baitullah.

South Waziristan is a major focus of the US air campaign against al Qaeda and the Taliban. Of the 27 US strikes carried out in Pakistan this year, 19 of them took place in South Waziristan. Baitullah Mehsud’s territory has been hit 11 times and Mullah Nazir’s areas have been hit eight times. Both Nazir and Baitullah host al Qaeda training camps and shelter senior leaders of the terror group. Six of the last eight attacks have targeted Baitullah’s camps.

The US is well on its way to exceeding last year’s total of 36 airstrikes in Pakistan.

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