As Drone Strikes Continue, US Insists on ‘Backup Plan’ If Pakistan Closes Base

US Insists Shamsi Base 'Fully Operational'

One week after Pakistan’s Defense Minister publicly demanded that the US leave its Shamsi air base in the Balochistan Province, the Obama Adminsitration is reporting that the base is “fully operational” and still in US hands.

The US immediately rejected the call to leave the base, insisting they will remain in control. Though the base is reportedly no longer used for drone attacks, it is used to launch surveillance drones, which help in the controversial drone attacks.

Which are continuing to this day. Indeed, just today a US drone attacked a house in North Waziristan, killing six people and wounding an unknown number of others. As usual, the slain were termed “suspects” but there was no indication of their identities.

US officials downplayed the risk of losing the Shamsi base, despite Pakistani demands, saying that the CIA already has a “backup plan” in place for launching the surveillance drones, presumably out of Afghanistan, if Shamsi is ever taken back by Pakistan.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.