Islamabad, Oct. 19 (ANI): As part of their Waziristan offensive, the Pakistani military has begun hitting crucial Taliban targets with the help of a new imaging system that Americans have quietly provided for their F-16s.
The New York Times quoted an American official as saying that the Pakistani Air Force had identified over 100 targets for airstrikes in South Waziristan.
He added that Pakistanis didn't publicize the upgraded American imaging systems for the F-16s because of the prevailing anti-American sentiment in Pakistan.
However, it is not clear whether the newly equipped F-16s would make a significant difference, especially with the winter approaching.
As of now, the Pakistani military is hoping to move deeper into South Waziristan, as the helicopter gunships climbed higher into the mountainous terrain.
On Sunday, F-16s struck the militant-held towns of Makeen, Ladha and Kotkai in the heart of Taliban territory, and ground forces have occupied territory on the edge of the militant enclave.
Although military sources said that the level of resistance from militants is not very high, the area is heavily mined and Pakistani forces have already encountered many homemade bombs.
The actual casualty on both sides cannot be confirmed, with the army saying that it has killed 60 militants and lost five soldiers, and the Taliban claiming that they have killed 60 soldiers so far.
According to a Taliban spokesperson, encouraging soldiers further in Waziristan is part of their strategy, after which the militants plan to tie the soldiers down with hit-and-run tactics and keep them in the inhospitable terrain over the winter.
The government forces would be hit hard once they penetrated farther into the mountains, the favourite fighting areas for the militants, he added.(ANI)