Jul 10 2008

Battle Brewing In Pakistan’s Tribal Areas

It seems both sides are gearing up for a Battle Royale in the lawless tribal regions of Pakistan which border Afghanistan and have been the launching pad for attacks into Afghanistan by the remnants of al-Qaeda and their Taliban cousins. First we see signs of al-Qaeda fighters fleeing Iraq and heading to the Pakistan tribal regions:

American military and intelligence officials say there has been an increase in recent months in the number of foreign fighters who have traveled to Pakistan’s tribal areas to join with militants there.

The flow may reflect a change that is making Pakistan, not Iraq, the preferred destination for some Sunni extremists from the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia who are seeking to take up arms against the West, these officials say.

The American officials say the influx, which could be in the dozens but could also be higher, shows a further strengthening of the position of the forces of Al Qaeda in the tribal areas, increasingly seen as an important base of support for the Taliban, whose forces in Afghanistan have become more aggressive in their campaign against American-led troops.

The US is preparing to answer the challenge:

American commandos are poised to stage “hot pursuit” raids into Pakistan’s loosely governed tribal areas to stem mounting Taliban attacks against U.S. troops in Afghanistan and to disrupt resurgent al-Qaida operatives’ efforts to map strikes against the U.S. homeland, according to three Texas congressmen briefed during a trip to the region.

The lawmakers — Reps. Gene Green, D-Houston, Michael McCaul, R-Austin, and Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo — told the Houston Chronicle in separate interviews that the plans for stepped-up U.S. military operations are in response to Pakistan’s failure to disrupt terrorist training camps and cross-border attacks from a region known as “the Federally Administered Tribal Areas,” a remote, mountainous border area.

The Bush administration is recalibrating U.S. operations in the region because of a 40 percent increase in violent attacks against U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan that have pushed U.S. casualties for the month of June beyond the monthly toll in Iraq, the lawmakers said.

This region is basically the last major sanctuary of the Islamo Fascists groups associated with 9-11 and the Global War On Terror. The Pakistani military has around 100,000 troops surround the region to the south and is making incursions into the hot spots to further isolate the terrorists and limit their movements (see here for just one recent example).

To the North in Afghanistan there are another 100,000 troops from NATO, the US and Afghanistan covering the borders, and taking on the incursions from Pakistan. While it could take many weeks, we might be seeing the beginning of the end for the terrorist groups who have graciously retreated to this one area as they have been defeated in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Update: Reader Crosspatch notes some news out of Afghanistan pretty much showing how the Afghan people see the extremists:

Afghan officials say villagers in northwestern Afghanistan have killed two Taliban militants.

Officials in Faryab province Thursday said militants were trying to abduct aid workers in Qaysar district on Wednesday when villagers confronted them, killing two, and forcing 10 others to flee.

One of the militants killed was reportedly a Taliban-appointed shadow governor for the province.

The villagers protected the aid workers (probably foreign) and killed the Taliban leader. Sounds an awful lot like the Awakening that happened in Iraq, when local Sunnis decided to side with their fellow Iraqis and Americans against al-Qaeda. Seems after all these years since 9-11 it is now fashionable to hunt and kill Islamic extremists in the Muslim community.

Now that is some kind of achievement.

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21 Responses to “Battle Brewing In Pakistan’s Tribal Areas”

  1. […] It may already have done so. There may be a real solid reason behind the rumors that the US will be ramping up operations in the Pakistan Tribal zone […]