US Seeks to Target Balochistan With Drones
US officials have been pressuring Pakistan to allow the expansion of CIA drone strikes beyond the nation’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and into Pakistan’s largest province of Balochistan.
Pakistani intelligence officials reportedly rejected the US demand for access to Balochistan, but did agree to a compromise allowing a larger number of CIA agents to operate on the ground in the Baloch capital city of Quetta.
The US has been launching drone strikes against FATA for years, but has dramatically increased the numbers since President Obama took office. The vast majority of those killed in the strikes appear to have been innocent civilians, and only a handful of militant leaders were ever killed.
The prospect of escalating those strikes into Balochistan would also be hugely unpopular, as Pakistanis have complained about the attacks in FATA, only nominally Pakistani territory to begin with, and would undoubtedly object much more loudly to attacks in an actual Pakistani province.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- In Drills, US and Jordan Prepare to Attack Syria - June 18th, 2013
- UN Chief Urges Easing of 1990 Iraq Sanctions - June 18th, 2013
- Four US Soldiers Killed in Attack on Afghan Base - June 18th, 2013
- DHS Wants Same Surveillance Powers as NSA - June 18th, 2013
- G8 Backs Syria Peace Talks, Doesn't Demand Regime Change - June 18th, 2013