Despite Floods, US Restarts Drone Attacks in Pakistan

Good will could go 'down the drain,' officials warn
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2010 12:57 PM CDT
A Pakistan holds his Islamic holy Quran as he sits at an embankment surrounded by floodwater in Shadad Kot, in southern Pakistan on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010.   (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)
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(Newser) – Pakistan is in the midst of a massive humanitarian crisis, with floods submerging a sixth of the country, leaving six million people homeless. But that hasn’t stopped the US from resuming its unmanned aerial assaults, MSNBC reports. Drone missions were briefly grounded by the monsoon, but now have fully resumed; in recent days, the CIA has launched back-to-back attacks, reportedly killing 26 people, including 7 civilians.

The US has responded aggressively to the floods, pledging more aid money—$150 million—than any other country. That’s generated good will, but “all that could go down the drain” if the US continues with the locally unpopular airstrikes, says one official. But US officials note that the strikes have all targeted northern Waziristan, a region untouched by the flood waters. “The extremists have not let up because of the floods,” argued one ex-ambassador to Pakistan.

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