... a NATO spokesman, Major Quentin Innesm said allied forces are closing in on Taleban guerrillas, pushing them into what he called "a bit of a trap."
U.S. artillery and airstrikes killed between 50 and 60 suspected Taliban militants on Tuesday, the fourth day of a NATO-led offensive in southern Afghanistan, a NATO spokesman said. ... NATO has already reported more than 200 Taliban killed in the operation. ... He said there had been no NATO or Afghan troop casualties.
The leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan will attempt today to bury their differences and agree a joint strategy to combat Islamic militants operating on both sides of their border.
As Nato forces fought an estimated 700 Taleban rebels in southern Afghanistan, President Musharraf prepared to make his first visit to Kabul for nearly two years, where he hopes to repair relations with President Karzai.
“We hope it will be a major, positive step for relations between the two countries and for co-operation in fighting terrorism,” a spokesman for the Afghan Foreign Ministry said. Yesterday Pakistan took a big step towards ending the fighting in the lawless Waziristan region when it signed a peace deal with tribal leaders. The agreement commits local militants to halt attacks on both sides of the border.
In return Pakistan will reduce its military presence and compensate tribesmen whose relatives have been killed or whose properties have been damaged. A key provision of the deal is that tribesmen will expel foreign fighters from the area. The region is believed to be a haven for al-Qaeda fighters and members of the former Taleban regime in Afghanistan. Without a base in Pakistan their operations could be seriously disrupted.
The timing of the Paki/Waziri deal and the Paki-Afghani deal and the very high death rates for the Taliban (in the current NATO operation), and the understated quote from the NATO spokesman make me feel that Osama has finally been cornered.
UPDATE: HERE'S MY REASONING:
UPDATE: HERE'S MY REASONING:
That's why I say, STAY TUNED.
- The NATO op - which they define as a trap - is a very large op and it's coming up against a very determined and very large contingent of Taliban. Perhaps they are defending Osama and or Zawahiri.
- The Pakistan deal with the jirga/tribes of Waziristan has been portayed by many as a bad deal for us, but perhaps it isn't. If the tribes won't give safe haven to alQ then alQ must go to Afghanistan where NATO is waiting. If the tribes do not expel alQ then the deal is broken. In which case there is NO LOSS for us.
- Musharraf is meeting with Karzai - this rapprochement is essential and good for our side; it would not occur if Karzai thought Pakistan was making a destabilizing deal with the Waziri tribes.
- And don't forget that this big NATO action comes on the heels of numerous alQ biggies being taken down in the last 6 weeks. Which probably means that very good intel was acquired and is being exploited everywhere - even Pakistan and Waziristan and Afghanistan.