NATO helicopters and fighter jets attacked two military outposts in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, killing as many as 28 troops and plunging U.S.-Pakistan relations deeper into crisis.
Pakistan retaliated by shutting down NATO supply routes into Afghanistan, used for sending in nearly half of the alliance’s land shipments. It also said it would ask U.S. forces to quit an air base used for CIA drone strikes on militants.
The attack is the worst incident of its kind since Pakistan uneasily allied itself with Washington following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
The NATO-led force in Afghanistan confirmed that NATO aircraft had probably killed Pakistani soldiers in an area close to the Afghan-Pakistani border.
“Close air support was called in, in the development of the tactical situation, and it is what highly likely caused the Pakistan casualties,” said General Carsten Jacobson, spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
……Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said the killings were “an attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty,” adding: “We will not let any harm come to Pakistan’s sovereignty and solidarity.”
Pakistan is not an ally; it has never been cooperative in the war against Islamic terrorists. The Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) has Taliban moles on its payroll, and cells run back across the Afghan border after re-grouping, thanks to the Pakistan regime. Any resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan can be directly attributed to terrorist groups operating carte blanche in Pakistan; abetted by a large portion of the Pakistani government, Army, and ISI.
Islamabad should be at the top of the list of Predator targets.