Wow: Drone strike on Taliban funeral kills 60 in Pakistan

posted at 10:01 pm on June 23, 2009 by Allahpundit

Major kudos to Barry O or whichever underling pulled the trigger on this one. I still remember when Bush’s Defense Department declined to fire three years ago at a Taliban funeral at which hundreds of jihadis were gathered. Who knows how many innocents died at the hands of those who were spared then. Sixty is an enormous number to be killed in a Predator attack, especially given the angst in Pakistan over America targeting its citizens. I can only assume that either the military had good reason to suspect some very big fish were there or else they felt it was critical to send a message to Baitullah Mehsud that his assassination of a rival jihadi this morning who was partnering with the Pakistani military wasn’t about to go unanswered.

An airstrike believed to be carried out by a United States drone killed at least 60 people at a funeral in South Waziristan on Tuesday, residents of the area and local news reports said.

Details of the attack, which occurred in Makeen, remained unclear, but the reported death toll was exceptionally high. If the reports are indeed accurate and if the attack was carried out by a drone, the strike would be perhaps the deadliest since the United States began using the aircraft to fire remotely guided missiles at members of the Taliban and Al Qaeda in the tribal areas of Pakistan…

Pakistani jets have aimed at Mr. Mehsud’s hide-outs in recent days, and the funeral in Makeen that was hit on Tuesday was being held for a Taliban commander killed that day.

While the strike on the funeral may have been conducted by the Pakistani Air Force, residents and local news reports uniformly attributed it to a United States drone.

The dead may have included top commanders for Mr. Mehsud. The Geo Television Network, quoting unnamed sources, said that the dead included a trainer of suicide bombers named Qari Hussain as well as a Taliban commander named Sangeen, though there was no way to immediately verify the report.

Honestly, to risk the uproar over killing 60 people, I suspect they had reason to believe that Mehsud himself was present. I have an e-mail out to Bill Roggio asking him what he knows about this but it’s worth flagging now. For what it’s worth, a Taliban official claims Mehsud was “in the area” but wasn’t hurt.

Update: Here’s Roggio’s report at Long War Journal. Big fish galore:

The attack took place in the town of Makeen, a stronghold of Baitullah Mehsud, according to Geo News. The US has hit Taliban facilities in the Makeen region three times since June 14. The Pakistani Air Force has also launched several attacks in the region.

These attacks coincided with an important meeting between Baitullah and a senior delegation of Taliban and al Qaeda leaders to discuss the military’s operation in South Waziristan. Among those in attendance were Siraj Haqqani, Abu Yahya al Libi, Abdul Haq, and two senior deputies of Mullah Abdullah Zakir. The US appears to have targeted al Qaeda’s senior leadership as it met with Baitullah.

Today’s Predator strikes also take place as the Pakistani military is in the opening phase of its operation to destroy Baitullah’s network in South Waziristan.


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Comments

Tony737 on June 23, 2009 at 10:15 PM

Congrats, and may all your days be as happy as this one. They grow fast. Enjoy every moment!

_______________________

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 24, 2009 at 12:32 AM

I for one would have loved it if the entire so called news cast of MSNBC, and NBC would have been deposited permanently over there!

freeus on June 24, 2009 at 12:44 AM

Guess that makes 60 less at the 4th BBQ….

TheBigOldDog on June 24, 2009 at 12:47 AM

What’s the difference between these 60 he killed and the ones he just invited over for dinner? What’s he gonna do, smoke them personally on the White House lawn after they have a burger?

You think he pulled the trigger on the same people he invites to dinner?

Hard to believe. Maybe he is totally psycho…

TheBigOldDog on June 24, 2009 at 12:54 AM

60 is a lot. Hopefully there were a lot of really important “people-who-desperately-needed-to-be-killed” there.

Jaibones on June 24, 2009 at 1:00 AM

You think he pulled the trigger on the same people he invites to dinner?

TheBigOldDog on June 24, 2009 at 12:54 AM

“Hey, Barry! This tastes like chicken.”

Shy Guy on June 24, 2009 at 1:06 AM

Next time, they’ll do it by web conferencing with GoToMeeting.

Cicero43 on June 24, 2009 at 1:44 AM

When do we get to label B HO a “chicken hawk?”

LewWaters on June 24, 2009 at 1:54 AM

Good… hope the controller is enjoying a fine scotch at a bar somewhere in Florida. Seriously…. this is good.

lexhamfox on June 24, 2009 at 2:13 AM

I guess it was a cremation instead of a burial.

Ed Laskie on June 24, 2009 at 2:25 AM

Wasn’t there an article in the news a few weeks back that said that any predator flights into Pakistan had to be under the control of a Pakistani officer and they would be the ones to decide if the target was acceptable? Any one know how to research this?

N4646W on June 24, 2009 at 3:08 AM

Good on Barry for not nixing this.

I had a thought. Lets say you have a bunch of taliban in your sights, but not real big fish. Suppose they are at a funeral. Then suppose you “leak” that we didn’t strike cause they were at a funeral. Maybe the real big fish would assume funerals were safe meeting points. And then, boom.

Just a thought.

Aquateen Hungerforce on June 24, 2009 at 3:24 AM

This post is just terrible. Are we a bunch of kids who snuck into an R-rated movie, getting excited at the death count?

That the USAF managed to succeed where the Pakistani airforce failed means one thing: expect to see more of these successes in the future. More and more, they’ll grow to become dependent on American airpower. Instead of celebrating, we should be alarmed at the creeping expansion of our role in their civil war.

year_of_the_dingo on June 24, 2009 at 4:05 AM

What’s the difference between these 60 he killed and the ones he just invited over for dinner? What’s he gonna do, smoke them personally on the White House lawn after they have a burger?

You think he pulled the trigger on the same people he invites to dinner?

Hard to believe. Maybe he is totally psycho…

TheBigOldDog on June 24, 2009 at 12:54 AM

.
They dissed him when they said if they got there hands on Pakistan’s nukes they would use them on the USofA. They probably saw the way the Obama-nation was behaving and thought it would put them on his “good” side.
.
.
I always believed that anybody attending a terrorist’s funeral was a terrorist.

darktood on June 24, 2009 at 6:17 AM

This post is just terrible. Are we a bunch of kids who snuck into an R-rated movie, getting excited at the death count?

That the USAF managed to succeed where the Pakistani airforce failed means one thing: expect to see more of these successes in the future. More and more, they’ll grow to become dependent on American airpower. Instead of celebrating, we should be alarmed at the creeping expansion of our role in their civil war.

year_of_the_dingo on June 24, 2009 at 4:05 AM

If it’s Taliban Terrorists of course I’ll celebrate EVERY death. Obviously they’d do the same regarding MY death, and I’d expect them to. It’s called a WAR. If these other countries can’t wipe out these human cock roaches, thank GOD our Air Force can.

Jeff from WI on June 24, 2009 at 6:21 AM

I don’t care who kills the bastads as long as someone is. Is that r-rated-juvenile enough?

In other news: Neda off the front page, Bagram on (asshats).

Limerick on June 24, 2009 at 6:45 AM

I am not going to give Barry O kudos for doing his job. As for Bush, just look at how many terrorists bit the dust while he was President. He might have decided not to drop a bomb on a funeral, but I would not be surprised if those Taliban present were not hunted down after.

In fact back when Bush declined to bomb a funeral, Barry O was claiming all we did was bomb villages and kill civilians.

Wanna bet we don’t hear the Pakistanis claim that most of these 60 were women and children?

Terrye on June 24, 2009 at 6:49 AM

Also, I think the Taliban made the mistake of going after the Pakistani government…that got them off their asses after the bad guys. For awhile.

Didn’t Patreaus take command of all these operations in the latter part of Bush’s tenure? And I think he made some changes in personnel. We might see more of these attacks in the near future.

Terrye on June 24, 2009 at 7:09 AM

For all you wingnuts that keep calling President Obama a wuss, theres 60 high ranking Taliban members standing in front of Allah that don’t agree with you. So stfu about Obama not being tough enough. And by the way, pencil him in to win the 2012 election. Just sayin’

athensboy on June 24, 2009 at 7:18 AM

And by the way, pencil him in to win the 2012 election. Just sayin’

athensboy on June 24, 2009 at 7:18 AM

like PT Barnum said, there’s a lot of suckers like you out there!! never bet against the stupidity of the american people…and you prove it with every post.

when Bush was president, this was a WAR CRIME…now with Barry O, it makes him a hero!!

but 60 is nothing…in WWII this wouldn’t have been a footnote..

right4life on June 24, 2009 at 7:36 AM

60 Jihadis 72 Virgins each ……

= 4320 Virgins in Heaven

sounds like a party

Dpet on June 24, 2009 at 7:41 AM

Jeff from WI on June 24, 2009 at 6:21 AM

ditto

cmsinaz on June 24, 2009 at 7:43 AM

athensboy on June 24, 2009 at 7:18 AM

don’t count your chickens yet….

cmsinaz on June 24, 2009 at 7:46 AM

Totally off the topic…or is it?

Almost 0800 here, took out the trash, let the cats in, and heard a wonderful sound…four F-16’s heading for altitude from the Air Guard base up the road…beautiful sight, too, the morning sun in a clear blue sky glistening off those wonderful aircraft. That sound of freedom. Wonder what it sounds like on the receiving end out in Fuzzystan when F-16’s hit the burners and head for targets? Gotta be an awesome way to suddenly rethink a career choice, being a jihadi…knowing that the sound of an F110-GE-100 turbofan is that last earthly sound one will ever hear…

coldwarrior on June 24, 2009 at 7:49 AM

For all you wingnuts that keep calling President Obama a wuss, theres 60 high ranking Taliban members standing in front of Allah that don’t agree with you. So stfu about Obama not being tough enough. And by the way, pencil him in to win the 2012 election. Just sayin’
athensboy on June 24, 2009 at 7:18 AM

Yeah, I’ll try to remember how tough Ogabe is when the North Korean missiles are flying toward Hawaii, or when reps of the Iranian thug government are celebrating our Independence Day (of all days) by munching watermelon in the Rose Garden.

Neda is standing in front of Allah too, except tough guy Barack couldn’t bring himself to say anything about her until the public heat got a bit too high for his comfort.

Bishop on June 24, 2009 at 7:57 AM

athensboy on June 24, 2009 at 7:18 AM

Whoever is paying or has paid for your education at the University of Georgia, whether your parents or the taxpayers, should demand a refund.

kingsjester on June 24, 2009 at 8:01 AM

Bishop on June 24, 2009 at 7:57 AM

Neda is standing in front of God…

The jihadis, the Basij, those who have used Islam to kill innocents across the globe…heaven? Don’t think so.

As it is written in the Koran:

“Indeed the hypocrites are in the lowest depths of the Fire; you will find no helper for them.”
[an Nisa, 4: 145]

coldwarrior on June 24, 2009 at 8:04 AM

F-16

coldwarrior on June 24,2009 at 7:49AM

coldwarrior:

A few weeks ago,we had are SnowBirds buzz our city,about
five of them,circling the city about three times,I’m
guessing 300 to 400knts,and at around 500-1000ft!

Yes,that early morning roaring of the engines is awesome!

And some people just don’t see,hear and appreciate its
beauty!!:)

canopfor on June 24, 2009 at 8:10 AM

coldwarrior on June 24, 2009 at 8:04 AM

Yah, I shouldn’t have said “too”; those savages who got popped yesterday aren’t in the same place Neda is.

Bishop on June 24, 2009 at 8:13 AM

canopfor on June 24, 2009 at 8:10 AM

Ever been to an air show where there was a B17 Fortress fly-by, or a P51 Mustang doing a low level pass? Awesome sounds of power.

I wonder what it was like to hear and see 1,000 of those planes flying overhead on their way to a raid, as it was during WWII? Planes everywhere you looked and nothing but thumping engines; must have been spectacular.

Bishop on June 24, 2009 at 8:17 AM

I still remember when Bush’s Defense Department declined to fire three years ago at a Taliban funeral at which hundreds of jihadis were gathered.

Yes, a disgraceful episode for the Bush Administration.

But frankly, the ONLY reason that the Barack HUSSEIN Obama (PBUH)(SWT)(SAW) Administration is carrying out these attacks, is that Local and CIA elements are doing them, WITHOUT his knowledge or Approval….it’s the only explaination!

Dale in Atlanta on June 24, 2009 at 8:32 AM

I know why the US killed 60 terrorists at a funeral. Because it was ironic!

Like Ann Coulter said, Obama played the Kos Kids for fools. But they’re still so inebriated with The One’s aura I doubt that they even realize it yet.

Crusty on June 24, 2009 at 8:33 AM

The one good thing about an Obama presidency-if A Republican were in charge ,the killing of 60 “funeral attendees” (ho ho ho)would be front page headlines for months. Now it will be forgotten in minutes. Let’s look on the bright side-60 Muslims have just met Allah.

MaiDee on June 24, 2009 at 8:44 AM

Ever been to an airshow….

Bishop on June 24,2009 at 8:17AM.

Bishop:

When I was alot younger,at Kinchole Airforce base in Michigan,I had seen alot of B-52 Buff’s,and Phatoms!

A few years ago,at North Bay airshow,I was up and per
sonal with static display,B-17,B-52,Langcaster,and
the rest of US jets,T-38,F-16’s,F14,F15,etc!

And your right,the radial engines on the B-17’s are
pure,raw,thumping and throbbing power!!

Awesome stuff!

I love it,when the turbine spools up,lights and then
it screams up!!:)

Oh,I’ve read where bombers were streaming over head towards their targets,and it takes hours from them to clear the sky!

canopfor on June 24, 2009 at 8:47 AM

60 hajjis dead and one Conservative Patriot born! 1:53 am! :-) I pray that the jihad will be crushed long before BabyBoy737 is old enough to worry about it, but I’ll be preparing him for it either way.

Tony737 on June 24, 2009 at 8:56 AM

This is awesome, 60 terrorists die on the same day that my son is being born. That’s a net gain of 61!

Tony737 on June 23, 2009 at 10:15 PM

Congratulations on the new Piper Cub Tony!

sannhet on June 24, 2009 at 9:21 AM

Thank you Sann, you can add another Patriot to the list!

Tony737 on June 24, 2009 at 9:44 AM

Athensboy thinks BHO will get re-elected because of his authorization to kill 60 Taliban? Who do you think voted for this guy in the first place…and what do you think their stance on the War is?

Don’t go back to Rockville, A’boy.

jamie gumm on June 24, 2009 at 9:47 AM

Like Ann Coulter said, Obama played the Kos Kids for fools. But they’re still so inebriated with The One’s aura I doubt that they even realize it yet.

Crusty on June 24, 2009 at 8:33 AM

… not to mention the jenkem they’re inebriated with!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenkem

max1 on June 24, 2009 at 10:01 AM

Total per Bill Roggio is 65+ fighters.

The first 6 bodies were crisped at the meeting Bill mentioned in the excerpt you posted. The other 60 or so were toasted at the resulting funeral for one of the 6…so lets see here

6 deaths—>1 funeral (out of the 6)—>60 deaths—>600 deaths? (hopefully)

SgtSVJones on June 24, 2009 at 10:06 AM

No video? Saw video of an Apache this morning taking out 14 in Afganistan. Can’t we get a nose cam video?

barnone on June 24, 2009 at 10:17 AM

I’m as much in favor of mass killings of potential enemies as anybody is – probably an awful lot more than most. That’s an important part of any military action. But even I start to get the willies when “point and click” attacks seem to be the ONLY way we’re dealing with problems.

Obama is acting like Bill Clinton on steroids. Remember? Every time he wanted to boost his poll numbers, he’d make his best guess as to where Saddam might be, and then shoot cruise missiles like they were going out of style.

Liberals have trashed American troops so much that door-to-door searches are pretty much out of the question now. The CIA haven’t been worth snot since the Church hearings in the 70’s. How much of our intel is currently coming directly from one Pakistani government faction or another without military corroboration?

I may not be a huge fan of this administration, but I had a high level of trust of military intelligence. Unfortunately, even that has its limits.

logis on June 24, 2009 at 11:29 AM

To those hand-wringing over all the ‘innocents’ killed in this attack bear in mind one thing: if a Predator had been around in 1943 to take out Hitler at his Berchtesgaden retreat it would have likely taken out Eva Braun and all those adorable Goebbels children as well.

kd6rxl on June 24, 2009 at 11:31 AM

Guess that makes 60 less at the 4th BBQ….

TheBigOldDog on June 24, 2009 at 12:47 AM

Nope- now serving BBQ taliban, celebrate early.

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on June 24, 2009 at 11:32 AM

But didn’t you say it was pathetic to care about someone you don’t know? Or, am I confusing you with someone else?

Disturb the Universe on June 23, 2009 at 10:09 PM

No, you’re mistaken. You’re thinking of innocent, can’t remember the rest of his name, but it was innocent you’re thinking of.

Liberty or Death on June 24, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Its HARD out there for a pimp… um, uh, I mean Talibani.

44Magnum on June 24, 2009 at 3:07 PM