Today Haji Mujtaba reported for Reuters that a senior security official said a U.S. drone fired four missiles at a vehicle, killing between five and eight Uzbek and local alleged militants near the Afghan border in the mountainous region of North Waziristan (Pakistan). Dr Wali Aslam (University of Bath) says that current strikes are taking place in coordination with the Pakistan military’s offensive in North Waziristan as part of a relationship in which Pakistan provides “key” information on al Qaeda activities.
The death toll could not be independently confirmed because North Waziristan has been off limits to journalists since the military announced an anti-Taliban offensive there in June.
In the past decade, the United States has conducted 391 unmanned drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which estimates that 2,352 to 3,802 people – both alleged militants and civilians – have been killed in those attacks.
The US’ failure to acknowledge their covert drone operations gives rise to allegations of illegality: violations of national sovereignty.
Unmanned drones have also been deployed in the US-led offensive against militant jihadist group Islamic State. Syria has now become the seventh country US President Barack Obama has targeted with airstrikes.
On Monday, the United Nations Human Rights Council criticized targeted killings via unmanned drone strikes. It marked the first time the panel has formally discussed the issue of armed drones in violation of international human rights law and of the UN Charter. Representatives from 21 countries joined to voice opposition to US drone strikes around the world. The US, UK and France were the only countries to withhold condemnation.