5 years ago
The U.S. has recently conducted air operations just across the Pakistani border.
NATO helicopters conducted a rare cross-border operation into Pakistan Saturday, killing dozens of militants, according to the alliance.
NATO in Afghanistan said the first cross-border strike came a day after rebels attacked an Afghan border outpost in eastern Khost province. In a second strike, two helicopters returned to the border area and came under fire before killing several more insurgents.
Dawn gives us a little more detail.
US military sources say that all 30 – killed during a hot pursuit on Friday – were Haqqani Network fighters.
The militants, the sources said, had attacked Combat Outpost Narizah, an Afghan base eight miles from the Pakistani border in Tani district of Khost.
US forces repelled the attack and pursued the militants to their post just across the border in North Waziristan.
“An air weapons team in the area observed the enemy fire, and following Inter-national Security Assistance Force rules of engagement, crossed into the area of enemy fire,” the International Security Assistance Force stated in a press release.
It’s a positive development that rather than confining our combat operations to protecting the population we’re chasing the insurgents as I have observed needed to be done so many times before. But in another development, Pakistan is not happy with the cross-border operations.
Pakistan reacted angrily today after Nato said US helicopters had crossed into its territory from Afghanistan to attack militants, claiming to have killed more than 50 Taliban fighters.
The admission that two incursions had taken place over the weekend by helicopters from the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), and possibly a further cross-border raid today, came after recent reports of a covert CIA military force in Afghanistan that crosses into Pakistan to kill Taliban and al-Qaida fighters.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry condemned the incursions as a “clear violation and breach of the UN mandate under which Isaf operates”, saying it had made a formal protest to Nato. “In the absence of immediate corrective measures, Pakistan will be constrained to consider response options,” said Abdul Basit, the foreign ministry spokesman.
So Pakistan is doing a little saber-rattling of their own, still wanting to play both sides against the middle and protect it’s asset – the Taliban – in its neurotic, make-believe future war with India.
This will be a good test of our resolve to be successful in Afghanistan. Either we offer up obsequious explanations, excuses and discussions about how this was within the rules of engagement, or we tell the Pakistanis that we did it, we’re proud of the results, and it’s going to happen again … and again … and again … until they get their own shop under control. Stay tuned.