The Drone Attack Fact Sheet


ZoneAsia-Pk

Total Number of Drone Strikes in Pakistan:

The number of drone strikes has increased considerably since they began in 2004. This increase in number of drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal belt was particularly in period of Obama’s administration which is desperately seeking to end its war on Terrorism in Afghanistan. There was only one drone strike in 2004. This was the lowest figure in Seven years’ history of drone strikes. Highest number of drone strikes took place in year 2010 when there were 128 such strikes.

Number of Drone Strikes in Different Agencies of FATA:

Drones have targeted so far six agencies in FATA. North Waziristan, one of the seven tribal agencies, had been hit the most since 2004. There are total of 172 drone strikes carried out in North Waziristan agency only. Orakzai Agency was hit only once. Apart from Tribal Agencies, the drones also struck thrice the areas of settled district Bannu in KPK.

Militant Groups targeted by Drones:

US drones have targeted almost all major militant factions present in FATA region but they focused more on those militants who are involved in insurgency inside Afghanistan. At their hit list includes Haqqani Network, al-Qaeda, TTP, Hafiz Gul Bahadur, Gulbadeen Hikmatyar group etc. It is pertinent to note here that al-Qaeda though an independent global organization, however in FATA it operates in association with local militant factions, who provide shelter and other logistic support to them.

The Casualties Caused by Drones in Pakistan:

The number of casualties increased with increase in number of drone strikes in Pakistan. That’s why in the initial period (2004 to 2007) the attacks resulted in 100 deaths but when the number of drone strikes increased in 2008, the casualties increased significantly. In 2010 only there were total of 1327 deaths reported as a result of drone strikes.

Number of Militant Leaders Killed in Drone strikes:

A considerable number of militant leaders belonging to different groups have been killed in the drone strikes. Among them Baitullah Mehsud, head of TTP, Ibn-e -Amin, al-Qaeda linked Taliban militant from Swat, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, Nek Mohammed, TTP chief, Abu Laith al Libi, Tahir Yuldashev, head of Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan are few.

Comparison of Civilian and Militant Casualties in Drone Strikes:


There are conflicting reports about the number of civilian casualties in drone strikes. US sources, particularly US government gives too low a figure in this regard. The total number of civilian causalities in the drone strikes since 2004 is 960. These civilian casualties have caused much uproar in Pakistani society.

Targeted Objects/ Places:


Initially the drones targeted the houses and compounds of the suspected high profile militant commanders. But last year witnessed increased attacks on the vehicles carrying militants. Out of total 128 strikes in 2010, 43 strikes were targeted at vehicles in the area. Different analysts explain this change in different ways. Our understanding of it suggests that it shows increased and accurate ground intelligence for the drones that is resulting in increase precision of the strikes. Consequently the collateral damage has also been reduced significantly.

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