Saturday, December 9, 2017

Pakistan Will Shoot Down Drones In Its Airspace, Even US Ones

Pakistan Will Shoot Down Drones In Its Airspace
The head of the Pakistani Air Force launched a new policy Friday stating that any and all drones operating within Pakistani airspace must be shot down, the Times of India reports.

"We will not allow anyone to violate our airspace," PAF chief Sohail Aman said. He warned that that he "ordered PAF to shoot down drones, including those of the US, if they enter our airspace, violating the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

US military and paramilitary operations have continued in Pakistan for years in an effort to fight terror groups, according to former CIA agent John Kiriakou, who led a CIA counterterrorism operations team in Pakistan in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Islamabad routinely condemns drone strikes in the country but the announcement to actually engage those drones marks a shift in policy.

The US and Pakistan have butted heads for months since US President Donald Trump's August, 2017, speech on Afghanistan, during which he blasted the Pakistani government. "For its part, Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror… in Afghanistan and Pakistan, America's interests are clear: We must stop the resurgence of safe havens that enable terrorists to threaten America," Trump said at the time.

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