Tense U.S.-Pakistan relations — which have affected aid to the Asian country — may once again be tested following the United States’ use of a drone to target a senior commander of terrorist network al-Qaida in northwestern Pakistan.
The Pakistani government has previously protested the United States’ use of drones in its efforts to subdue terrorism in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, and the June 4 strike on a village in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas is expected to once again prompt criticism.
The United States has declared the operation a success, confirming al-Qaida commander Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed in the attack. He is believed to have been al-Qaida’s deputy leader and among the group’s “most experienced and versatile leaders.”
“This would be a major blow, we believe, al-Libi’s death is a major blow to core al-Qaida,” White House spokesperson Jay Carney said, according to the Telegraph.
Al-Libi is at least the second high-level al-Qaida official killed on Pakistani soil over the past year. U.S. special forces located and killed the group’s leader,Osama bin Laden, in a military town near Islamabad in May 2011.
That operation was among several factors that sparked tensions between the United States and Pakistan which has resulted to, among others, the U.S. Congress imposing conditions on the country’s aid to Pakistan.
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