The Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP)’s control over the Tirah Valley may have been briefly tested during a nearly week-long Pakistani military offensive, but indications are that they still hold the valley, launching a counter-offensive against the area.
On Monday, the Pakistani military had reported that four days of fighting in the valley had left 30 soldiers and 100 militants dead. More fighting has occurred since then but no new death estimates have been released.
Pakistani officials in Peshawar say they are surprised at the TTP’s level of resistance, figuring they would be chased out of the region as easily as they have in the past in other border areas. The TTP’s usual strategy faced with military offensives is simply to move to wherever the military isn’t attacking.
Tirah Valley is considered hugely valuable as a convenient border crossing back and forth into Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. Several groups had hoped to control the region, and it seems like this time the TTP isn’t going to give it up so quickly.