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Daily News Analysis

America resumes terrorist drone strikes in Afghanistan

Crescent International

Whenever an American president’s approval ratings drop and he is on the verge of losing elections (congressional or presidential), he resorts to terrorist drone strikes.

This is what happened on July 30 (July 31 in Kabul) when Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed by a US drone strike in the upscale neighbourhood of the Afghan capital.

In making the announcement on August 1, US President Joe Biden said from the White House that the US killed al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike.

“I authorized a precision strike that would remove him from the battlefield, once and for all,” Biden said.

He also claimed that there were no other casualties.

Can hell-fire missiles distinguish between people?

And true to form, Biden claimed that Al-Zawahiri was one of the masterminds of the 911 attacks.

The list of US “masterminds” of 911 attacks is indeed long.

It included Osama bin Laden, Khalid Shaikh Muhammad (tortured in Guantanamo Bay), Abu Zubaydah (also mercilessly tortured), 74-year-old Saifullah Piracha and a host of others.

Piracha was cleared for release last May but is still languishing in the torture chamber.

Trained as a physician, the Egyptian-born al-Zawahiri was arrested in connection with the killing of Anwar Sadat in October 1981.

He was tortured in an Egyptian prison for three years and after his release, he went to Pakistan to treat wounded Afghan fighters battling Soviet forces in Afghanistan.

He also served as bin Laden's personal physician.

The Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid condemned the US drone strike as a clear violation of the Doha agreement.

In a series of tweets, Mujahid said the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan “strongly condemns this attack on any pretext and calls it a clear violation of international principles and the Doha Agreement.”

The US drone strike on Kabul raises a number of questions.

How did the US drone enter landlocked Afghanistan’s air space?

There are three possible scenarios.

First, it entered through Iranian air space. That is impossible.

Iran would never allow any US planes, manned or unmanned in its air space.

The second is from Central Asia. Again, this is not possible because that region falls under the Russian sphere of influence.

Given the current animosity between the US and Russia over Ukraine, Moscow would not allow any such intrusion by an American drone.

That leaves Pakistan (discounting China because, again, there is no possibility of Beijing allowing American drones in its air space).

While an official spokesman for Pakistan has denied that it played any role in facilitating the drone strike, facts on the ground belie this.

Here is why.

Pakistan army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa had a telephone conversation with the head of US CENTCOM 48-hours before the CIA strike on Kabul.

The Pakistani said “They [US] have many options in the region. However, it [drone] didn’t fly from Pakistan or through its air space,” the source told The Express Tribune.

What other options does the US have in the region, the Pakistani source did not elaborate.

Given Pakistan’s desperate economic situation and General Bajwa’s call to US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman to facilitate the $1.2 billion IMF loan to the country lends further credence to speculation that Rawalpindi was involved.

Bajwa was also instrumental in ousting Imran Khan from office and placing a bunch of crooks as rulers to please the US.

It is clear that Bajwa is acting way beyond his legal authority and causing immense damage to Pakistan.

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