Sep 9 at 11:11pm by David Tate
Over the past two weeks, the Haqqani terrorist network has been under a daily assault, in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, causing heavy fighting to erupt in North Waziristan. It comes on the heels of a US missile strike against the network’s top madrassa facility and now militant fighters loyal to the family are counterattacking.
Geo TV reports Taliban fighters attacked two Pakistani army camps; one in Miramshah and one in Mir Ali. The Long War Journal is reporting that up to 150 Taliban took part in the attacks and that the fighting is ongoing. US sources tell The Long War Journal that the attacks in Pakistan are more symbolic than anything and speculated a larger respopnse could be in store for US troops operating in eastern Afghanistan.
The attack follows the September 8 missile attack in Dandi-zar-Dapakehl, North Waziristan that killed several members of Jalaluddin Haqqani’s family. As many as 15 Al Qaeda operatives were also killed. Two reports say the dead include Al Qaeda’s top man in Pakistan, Abu Firas al Masri.
The fighting culminates two straight weeks of attacks on Haqqani network targets that have been steadily increasing all year, in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, to levels previously unseen.
Preperation For The “Winter Offensive” ?
Coalition targets include training facilities, command and control as well as leaders of all rank within the Haqqani command structure. Below are reported operations conducted over the past 14 days involving the Haqqani network:
September 5 – Multiple operations are launched across Khowst Province targeting members of the Haqqani terrorist network. The coalition says a total of four militants were captured, including one known longtime leader within the network
September 6 – Coalition forces killed ten militants and captured three others Khowst Province during an operation targeting members of the Haqqani terrorist network. In a press release, the coalition says as its forces approached the target compound, a group of men began firing as they ran for a nearby treeline. The coalition soldiers engaged the fighters before calling in helicopters and close air support, killing eight fighters, including the intended target who was believed responsible for direct attacks and a suicide bombing in Sabari district, Khowst Province that killed two coalition soldiers March 3. Following that action, the coalition troops entered the compound where they were met by three other armed men; two surrendered and the third was shot to death when he refused to lay down his weapon (In May, several Haqqani terrorists from the same cell were killed and seven captured).
September 8- Coalition forces arrest two men, including the intended target, in Mando Zayi district, Khowst Province. The targetted militant was a wanted member of an IED ring.
September 9 - Two Haqqani network members are arrested in Khowst Province. The men are suspected of being involved in roadside bombings.
A senior US military source confirms to the The Long War Journal that American missles were to blame for the attack on the main madrassa in North Waziristan operated by the Haqqani network. It was the latest US attack against Haqqani network targets across Pakistan’s Tribal Agency.
Other recent attacks compiled by The Long War Journal include:
• US targets Haqqani Network in North Waziristan,
Sept. 8, 2008
• US airstrike killed five al Qaeda operatives in North Waziristan,
Sept. 5, 2008
• Report: US airstrike kills four in North Waziristan,
Sept. 4, 2008
• Pakistanis claim US helicopter-borne forces assaulted village in South Waziristan,
Sept. 3, 2008
• US hits al Qaeda safe house in North Waziristan,
Aug. 31, 2008
• Five killed in al Qaeda safe house strike in South Waziristan,
Aug. 31, 2008
• Al Qaeda safe house targeted in South Waziristan strike,
Aug. 20, 2008
Jalaluddin Haqqani is a veteran commander of the Soviet-Afghan war who was favored among the Americans and Saudis. It was during those days that Haqqani became close to Osama bin Laden. After the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan in 1996, Haqqani served as Minister of Tribal Affairs.
Today, the Haqqani network is considered the primary Taliban faction orchestrating attacks in Afghanistan and is credited with introducing the tactic of suicide bombing to the Afghan theater.
Haqqani is believed to be in Afghanistan and in poor health. Sirajuddin Haqqani, Jalaluddin’s son, is currently in actual control of the terrorist network.