Lahore, Feb 17 (ANI): There is nothing new in the news about Predator drones operating from a base inside Pakistan and attacking tribal areas, They have been based there for long, contrary to the impression being created by the media and the Los Angeles Times in particular, a US-based website has claimed.
The blogger points to the following news stories accessible on the Internet:
New York Times, 6 November 2002: "In any offensive against Iraq, the air force would probably use Predators flying from Ali Al-Salem Air Base, Kuwait, military officials said. The Predators flying over Afghanistan have operated from an air base in Jacobabad, Pakistan."
CNN, 1 January 2003: "In a separate development, a US surveillance plane crashed on Wednesday in southern Pakistan, shortly after takeoff. There were no injuries or damage on the ground."
"Jacobabad police chief said the drone crashed about seven kilometers from Jacobabad because of technical reasons."
RAND Corporation report, 2004: "Pakistan provided the US access to numerous military bases and helped establish facilities including Intermediate Staging Bases at Jacobabad, Pasni, Dalbandin and Shamsi; Predator basing at Jacobabad and Shamsi, and access to other bases used by over 50 aircraft and 2,000 coalition military personnel at these locales."
Washington Post, 27 March 2008: "Musharraf, who controls the country's military forces, has long approved US military strikes on his own. But senior officials in Pakistan's leading parties are now warning that such unilateral attacks - including the Predator strikes launched from bases near Islamabad and Jacobabad in Pakistan - could be curtailed."
The News International (Pakistan), 27 October 2008: "In the early days of our entering the US "war on terror", we offered certain bases of which Jacobabad had been apparently returned over two years ago. As for the Shamsi base in Balochistan where there are Predators, one can assume that the US would find it tempting to target Iran from this prime location." (ANI)