Angoor Ada raid
|Angoor Ada raid|
|Part of the War in North-West Pakistan|
|United States|| Taliban,
|45 U.S. soldiers||Approximately 120-130 fighters|
|Casualties and losses|
|Estimated 20 people killed, civilian number unclear|
The Angoor Ada raid (Urdu:صفف ﮑﹻﺨﺄ) was a covert raid conducted by U.S. Army Special Forces against Taliban fighters on September 3, 2008, within the border town of Angoor Ada in South Waziristan. It was the first time U.S. troops fought a ground-based battle against the Taliban within Pakistani borders. The raid took place at the same time as Pakistani military forces ended a four-week offensive in Bajaur, the northernmost Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of which South Waziristan is the southernmost, an offensive that has displaced approximately half a million people.
The raid occurred in the village of Moosi Neka (ﺙﻅﹿﺏ ﻑی) of the Angoor Ada region of South Waziristan, Pakistan, less than one mile (1.6 km) from the border of Afghanistan. The operation was executed at 3:00 AM local time (23h00 in UTC). Though the U.S. has performed missile strikes in Pakistan before, this is reportedly the first time U.S. troops have taken ground action within the country against Taliban fighters. According to some early reports, roughly twenty people, possibly including three women and four children, were killed in the raid. However, it is not clear whether these were civilians or combatants; an American official stated that the women killed were helping the hostile militants.
Three Black Hawk helicopters carrying 45 U.S. special forces soldiers conducted the raid. Only one of the helicopters landed and unloaded, while the two others flew overhead providing surveillance and aerial support to the other team. Two F-16 fighter jets also provided air cover. The forces attacked three houses, owned by "Faujan Wazir, Faiz Mohammad and Nazar Jan Wazir." The entire operation lasted 30 minutes. All of the inhabitants were apparently asleep when the raid occurred, and after examination none of the dead proved to be "important terrorists or high-value targets." A U.S. military official stated that "a small number of militants [were] captured and several others killed," but refused to comment on exact numbers.
A statement made by the Government of Pakistan said that "a strong protest by [the] Foreign Office has been lodged with [the] Government of United States," and "such acts of aggression do not serve the common cause of fighting terrorism and militancy in the area." On September 4, the Pakistani parliament passed a resolution condemning the raid and demanding increased American oversight and cooperation with Pakistani officials when conducting covert operations. Anne W. Patterson, the United States Ambassador to Pakistan, was called to the Pakistan Foreign Office, where a protest was lodged. In response to the raid, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told the National Assembly on Thursday, "There is no high-value target or known terrorist among the dead ... Only innocent civilians, including women and children, have been targeted."
In response to the raid, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, "I don't have anything for you on Pakistan, except to say that obviously we are working very closely with the civilian government there." Rice refused to comment on the possibility of civilian casualties. Reuters cited U.S. Pentagon officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, who confirmed that the raid was conducted by U.S. special operations forces.
The Chairman of the Pakistani Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC), Gen Tariq Majid, stated that "Pakistan reserves right to retaliate".
On Saturday, September 6, 2008, Pakistan blocked a fuel route supplying U.S. and other western forces operating in Afghanistan in response to the raid. "We have told them that we will take action and we have already taken action today. We have stopped the supply of oil and this will tell how serious we are," said Pakistani Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar.
- U.S. Troops Crossed Border, Pakistan Says 20 Locals Reported Killed in Assault Washington Post, September 4, 2008.
- "U.S. Conducts First Raid on Terrorists in Pakistan". ABC. 2008-09-03. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
- Shahzad, Syed Saleem (2008-09-03). "A sting in Pakistan's al-Qaeda mission". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
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