US Drone Strikes Kill 15 in N. Waziristan

by Juan Cole 

The Associated Press does an important story about an intensive drone strike campaign by the US military since September 2 in southern Afghanistan and in Pakistan’s North Waziristan that has left 60 persons dead, among them innocent civilians.
On Tuesday alone, US drone attacks targeted suspected militants killed some 15 persons in the village of Dargah Mandi village on the outskirts of Miranshah, N. Waziristan’s main city.
The drone strikes have targeted fighters of the Haqqani network, one of five or so major insurgent groups fighting against the US & NATO presence in Afghanistan and against the Karzai government. Jalaluddin Haqqani is one of Ronald Reagan’s “Freedom Fighters,” who battled the Soviet occupiers of Afghanistan in the 1980s with American aid.
He could not accept the US invasion and occupation of his country, either, and organized an insurgency now mainly led by his son Siraj. The Haqqani group is not Taliban but rather Mujahidin and has only a vague tactical alliance with Mulla Omar’s Taliban and similar groups.
Pakistani opposition to the US incursions against Pakistani sovereignty has been muted because of the vast flooding that has affected much of the country, and dealing with which has pinned down the Pakistani military. Another 25 villages in the Sindh province were submerged by flood waters on Tuesday.
Hundreds of more villages are menaced by the waters of Manchhal Lake, which is now full to capacity and could overflow. Incredibly, the flooding continues to displace Sindhi villagers on a massive scale without generating much in the way of news in the US. The displaced are facing lack of potable water and food shortages.
This article first appeared on the blog Informed Comment