Bill Roggio of Small Wars Journal reports that the US has launched three separate drone strikes in North Waziristan in the last 24 hours, indicating that perhaps, we are going after a high value terrorist:
In the first of the two most recent strikes, the remotely piloted Predators or the more advanced Reapers fired several missiles at two vehicles in the Mana area in the Shawal Valley in North Waziristan, according to AFP and Geo News. Five drones were seen circling over the attack site before and after the strike.
Pakistani officials said that between four and seven "militants" were killed in the strike, but did not disclose their identities.
In the second of the pair of strikes, two more "militants" were killed while conducting recovery operations at the scene of the previous strike.
Although no senior al Qaeda or Taliban leaders were reported killed, the pace of the strikes indicates that the one or more high value targets were the focus of the attacks.
The US has now launched three strikes in Shawal in the past 24 hours. On Saturday, the drones hit a compound in the village of Shuwedar in the Shawal Valley in North Waziristan, killing six "militants," according to Pakistani officials. Pakistan's Foreign Ministry objected to the Shuwedar strike, and called the US incursions "a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity and also in contravention of international law," according to Dawn.
Al Qaeda, the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, and Taliban fighters under the command of Hafiz Gul Bahadar, the leader of the Taliban in North Waziristan, are all known to operate in the Shawal Valley, which is near the Afghan border. Bahadar administers the Shawal Valley. The area is used to launch attacks across the border in Afghanistan. [For more information on the Shawal Valley, see LWJ report, US drones kill 6 'militants' in Pakistan's Shawal Valley.]
Pakistan can complain all they want to, but until the start controlling their own country by denying the terrorists safe havens in the Waziristans, we'll be glad to do the job for them.