America May Not Be Intervening in Iraq, But the Drone War in Pakistan Is Back On

The World
How It Works
June 12 2014 9:45 AM

The Drone War Is Back on in Pakistan

163356027-maintenence-personel-check-a-predator-drone-operated-by
Back in action.

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

As expected, the five-month pause in the U.S. drone war in Pakistan appears to have been just that.

Just a day after two attacks on Karachi’s airport claimed by the Tehrik-e-Taliban—the first one, at least, seems to have been carried out by gunmen from the Taliban-aligned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan—a U.S. drone fired on an area in Northwest Pakistan on Wednesday. It marks the first U.S. strike on the country since Dec. 25.

Advertisement

The U.S. had reportedly held back on drone strikes at the request of the Pakistani government while Islamabad attempted to carry out peace talks with the Taliban. After this week’s violence in Karachi, that long-faltering diplomatic effort appears to have come to a definitive end.

According to the AFP, there were two strikes, the first against a vehicle and compound in a small town in Waziristan, the second coming several hours later on “militants who had gathered to dig the debris.” Pakistani say the roughly 16 killed were Uzbeks and local Taliban. The Pakistani military also carried out its own airstrikes near the Afghan border on Tuesday.

Reports today suggest the White House has rebuffed Iraqi government requests to carry out airstrikes against the ISIS militants gaining power there, but meanwhile, America’s covert war in Pakistan appears to be back on.

Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs and writes the World blog. 

  Slate Plus
Working
Dec. 18 2014 4:49 PM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 17 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked a middle school principal about his workday.