By Bill Van Auken
24 December 2009
Amid a deepening political crisis in Pakistan and growing popular unrest over US missile strikes and mercenaries, it has been revealed that over the past five years US special operations troops have conducted a number of clandestine cross-border raids into the country’s tribal areas.
These raids involved “helicopter-borne elite soldiers stealing across the border at night, and were never declared to the Pakistani government,” according to a “former NATO officer” cited in an article published Monday by the British daily Guardian.
The only publicly acknowledged incursion by US forces took place on September 3, 2008, when US Navy Seals were flown by helicopter into a village in South Waziristan, where they raided three compounds and slaughtered some 20 people. While Washington claimed those killed were Al Qaeda fighters, the Pakistani government said that the victims were all villagers and included six women and two children.