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Pakistan

Obama Confirms Drone Strikes In Pakistan

An unmanned Predator drone (file photo)
An unmanned Predator drone (file photo)
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By RFE/RL
U.S. President Barack Obama has made a rare admission about U.S. unmanned "drone" aircraft attacks in Pakistani territory -- confirming such attacks take place and suggesting reports of civilian casualties from the strikes are overstated.

In an online chat from the White House with Google+ and YouTube users, Obama acknowledged that many of the drone strikes are in Pakistan's tribal regions near the Afghan border.

Obama said attacking Al-Qaeda or Taliban militants in Pakistan another way would involve "probably a lot more intrusive military action than the ones we're already engaging in."

U.S. President Barack Obama participates in an interview with YouTube and Google users from the White House.U.S. President Barack Obama participates in an interview with YouTube and Google users from the White House.
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U.S. President Barack Obama participates in an interview with YouTube and Google users from the White House.
U.S. President Barack Obama participates in an interview with YouTube and Google users from the White House.
"I want to make sure the people understand actually drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties," Obama said. "For the most part, they have been very precise precision strikes against Al-Qaeda and their affiliates. And we are very careful in terms of how it's been applied.

"I think that there's this perception somehow that we're just sending in a whole bunch of strikes willy-nilly," he continued. "This is a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists who are trying to go in and harm Americans, hit American facilities and American bases and so on."

Pakistan on January 31 acknowledged "tactical advantages" to U.S. drone strikes, but appeared to shrug off the unexpected confirmation by Obama of attacks on its soil.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit told France's AFP news agency: "Notwithstanding tactical advantages of drone strikes, we are of the firm view that these are unlawful, counterproductive, and hence unacceptable."

U.S. diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks in late 2010 showed Pakistan's civilian and military leaders privately supported U.S. drone attacks, despite their public condemnation of the practice.

Pakistan's military support for drone strikes has included the sharing of intelligence needed to target Al-Qaeda militants within Pakistani territory.

Pakistan was allowing the United States to use its Shamsi air base in western Pakistan to refuel drone aircraft. According to some accounts, Shamsi was a hub for the CIA drone aircraft program.

But Islamabad ordered U.S. military personnel to leave Shamsi in 2011 amid deteriorating relations over the covert U.S. raid that killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May.

Pakistani officials say Islamabad is now reviewing its alliance with the United States, and Pakistan has kept its Afghan border closed to NATO supply convoys since November 26.

According to unofficial media tallies, 45 suspected U.S. drone strikes were reported in Pakistan's tribal belt in 2009, 101 in 2010, and 64 in 2011.

David Rohde, a Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent for "The New York Times" abducted by the Taliban and held for months in Pakistan, reported after his escape in 2009 that he saw the Taliban inflate the number of civilian casualties from U.S. drone strikes in order to make it easier to recruit new fighters.

With agency reports
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by: Alex from: LA
January 31, 2012 09:52
This is US ally that harbors terrorists and keep them going? The ally that used to received 2billion dollars a year from US National Treasury for decades, and keep Osama Bin Laden in safety of it's Internationally Recognized borders. US should pick its allies carefully, because oil only equals a bought peace but enriching Islamic nations will equal united Islamic front against all Christian nation and on Judaic nation that we (Christians created out of Holocaust).

US needs to go back to its roots and stop worshiping "well being of its citizens" over sin of envy, which leads to sin of greed. First help other countries that are based in Christianity, which lead to so many rights and values that Islam is not missing but is misinterpreted by men who could read that book, because they didn't allow women to learn how to read, so only males interpreted that religion for many centuries. Islam's women have no voice, no opinion, they are treated like human pets of some sort, it's a sad but true story, and many people around the world realize this and can't do anything about it. Pakistan will be soon and open enemy of USA and other EU nations, it's pathetic for who ever is in control in the USA not to realize this, unless they are Muslims rich kings that influence the whole US Foreign Committee. I say that because lobbyist are death of US Constitution, lobbying was created for citizens to unite against elites, but instead the elites (who are the corporate people and the richest 0.5%) that mend the laws to serve them under pretenses of "it's good for the masses and not for the rich". Guess what? It is the exact opposite of what it is or what the law is called. Example PIPA (PROTECT IP Act) is the opposite of what it is called, UnPROTECT IP Act, it will give power to gov't and corporate media and Hollywood/music industry to shut down websites that host content that you on youtube posted singing to some song or making a youtube video that contains a song that is copyrighted even if you own a cd or dvd. Tha's retarded right, it's like getting double taxation. I paid for the damn content i can do anything with it except resale it like it says on all FBI warnings. DO you wanna go to jail for something you paid for? or pay a fine for something you own.

LOBBYIST ARE TRYING TO PUT MIDDLE AND LOWER CLASS IN TO ONE COFFIN AND BURY US IN ONE ATTEMPT AND THEY HAVE THE MONEY TO SUCCEED, STAND UP AND MAKE YOUR VOTES COUNT NEXT ELECTION DON'T LET CORRUPT INDIVIDUALS (don't base it on party lines, but on the fairness and kindness of that individual politician) TAKE THE POST. NEVER REELECT THE SAME REPRESENTATIVE OR SENATOR THAT HAS SERVED ONCE, BECAUSE THE LONGER THEY ARE IN THE GAME THE EARLIER THEY WILL BE PULLED TOWARDS THE DARK FORCE, WE ENSURE BY NOT REELECFING THEM TO 2nd TERM TO BECOME CORRUPTED. Its the same as putting non-violent criminal in jail for few years and releasing him, they become violent criminals, by nature of institutional facilities. Prison breed murders/rapist and Congress/Senate breed corrupted legal criminals that get caught less than 0.00001 of the time so not to be right to say NEVER for their own sake.

PHEEEWWWW that big load to unload.

VIVA ANTI-CORRUPTION DEMOREPUBLICANS! MAKE THAT A PARTY IN USA!

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