London, Dec. 22 (ANI): Special US forces have reportedly carried out multiple secret raids on the Al-Qaeda leadership in Pakistan's lawless tribal regions along the Afghan border, a former NATO officials has disclosed.
According to the official, the covert raids, only one of which has been previously reported, occurred between 2003 and 2008.
He said the US administration had never informed Islamabad about the operation, which involved helicopter borne elite commandos who sneaked inside Pakistan's territory at night.
"The Pakistanis were kept entirely in the dark about it. It was one of those things we wouldn't confirm officially with them," The Guardian quoted the ex-official, who claimed having detailed knowledge of the clandestine raids.
The brazen revelation is likely to add to the tension between Pakistan and the United States.
The two allies have been at loggerheads over the past few months, as the Obama administration is pressing Islamabad to allow the CIA to expand the drone attacks on terror hideouts in Balochistan and other terror hot beds in the country.
The official said that one of the capture raids had succeeded, while the other failed and the US sent elite soldiers to rescue a crashed Predator aircraft because they did not trust Pakistani forces.
"People were afraid they would take the parts and reverse- engineer its components," he said.
In recent weeks Washington has sent score of senior officials to Islamabad seeking Pakistani action on at least two fronts: attacks on Sirajuddin Haqqani, a warlord with strong al-Qaida ties based in North Waziristan, and an expansion of the CIA-led drone strikes .
Such demands have drawn an angry reaction from the Pakistan Army, which says it is taking on the enemy with full force and that cannot open war at all fronts. (ANI)