Baitullah Mehsud BOTTLED UP.He is 4 ft. 11 inches tall.
Baitullah Mehsud BOTTLED UP, Trapped.
Veteran tribal journalist Sailab Mehsud said the army was attacking with artillery guns stationed at six locations on three sides of Mehsud territory. Two nights ago Mehsud rallied his troops with a radio broadcast, a local source said. "It is an order from God that you continue the fight. You must struggle until your last breath," he said....
Pakistani army in onslaught against Taliban chief linked to Bhutto killing
· Dozens killed as troops encircle mountain base
· Locals flee air and ground assault on Afghan border
Declan Walsh in Dera Ismail Khan
Friday January 25, 2008
The Pakistani army has launched a blistering air and ground assault on the mountain stronghold of Baitullah Mehsud, the Taliban commander accused of orchestrating the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, as a battle for control of the lawless region near the Afghan border intensifies.
The onslaught follows months of sporadic clashes in Waziristan, where Islamists have embarrassed Pakistani forces in recent weeks, and comes amid growing pressure from the US, which finances the operations against the extremists.
Hundreds of soldiers supported by tanks, helicopter gunships and a multi-pronged artillery barrage encircled Mehsud's home territory in South Waziristan,
The assault comes a week after hundreds of Mehsud fighters stormed a military fortification in South Waziristan, killing at least seven officers from the Frontier Constabulary, a lightly armed tribal police force. "It triggered the whole thing," said army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas. "There was an understanding [with the militants] there would be no attacks on security forces. They broke it."
Preparations for the attack included a blockade of fuel and food supplies to Mehsud territory and considerable secrecy. Last week a French journalist who filmed an army convoy rolling towards Waziristan was detained for 24 hours, interrogated, and forced to delete video footage.
The battle zone is barred to foreign journalists and considered too risky by local media....
Across the border, the Afghans are noting fewer al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists and gunmen from Pakistan. Apparently, the pressure from the Pakistani army is forcing the Taliban and their al Qaeda allies to defend their Pakistan bases. Meanwhile, the United States has openly offered to send Special Forces and commando type troops to assist Pakistan in defeating Taliban and al Qaeda forces along the border. While this is a politically sensitive issue in Pakistan, it keeps coming up. This indicates the Pakistani government is moving towards letting the U.S. troops in. ( What, how does that indicate agreement? Paki keeps saying NO ! G ) There have long been American operatives (mostly CIA, and other U.S. agencies) in Pakistan, and even the tribal areas. But this is unofficial, and discrete. Despite that presence, the U.S. seeks better information about what is going on in the tribal areas. American intelligence analysts believe their Pakistani counterparts are holding out on them.
Pakistani Army launches offensive in South WaziristanBy
Paki three prong atack:
The fighting has been reported to be fierce. "Both sides are using heavy weapons against each other at Jandola, Chaghmalai, and Spinkai-Raghzai areas of the region," according to The Nation. The military is deploying tanks and artillery while the Taliban is using mortars, rockets, and heavy machine guns....
Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the tribal areas and the NWFP. Click to view.
The Taliban have attempted to blunt the assault from the north by conducting a rocket and mortar barrage on the military outpost in Ramzak. An estimated 50 to 70 rockets and mortars were launched at the Ramzak base over a four-hour period.
I over lay the map from his site onto Google Earth, and take a 3D look around: Blue arrows show attacks. Where the Paki Army has been fighting /coming from.
Where the Paki Army is going TO: 3 prong Attack: 1,500 feet. Great Geology.
Compound by compound fly over 700 feet. Heart of search area.
Baitullah Mehsud,: sacked
BACKGROUNDER: WITH HIS MUG SHOT:
Photo source: Bill Roggio
Key Taliban leaders in Pakistan:
BAITULLAH MEHSUD: Head of the newly formed Taliban Movement of Pakistan. He has been named by the Pakistan government and the CIA as the man behind the Dec. 27 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. He fought in Afghanistan against the Soviets in 1980s; alongside the Taliban in the 1990s and against U.S. and NATO troops after 2001. Now taking aim at the Pakistan military. From the Mehsud tribe of South Waziristan, near the Afghan border where Western intelligence suggests Al Qaida is regrouping.
MAULVI FAZLULLAH: Uses an illegal FM radio station in Pakistan's picturesque Swat Valley in the northwest to rally supporters to his rigid brand of Islamic rule. Followers have burned down CD shops, girls' schools and launched dozens of suicide attacks against Pakistani police and military. Commander in the Taliban Movement of Pakistan.
FAQIR MOHAMMAED: Based in northwestern Pakistan's Bajour Agency, he is considered a close ally of al-Qaida's Ayman Al-Zawahri. Part of the Taliban Movement of Pakistan but also a key member of the Movement for the Implementation of Mohammad's Sharia Law. He has sent hundreds of young men to fight in Afghanistan and has been implicated in dozens of suicide attacks.
SADIQ NOOR: Powerful leader in North Waziristan, where followers have battled Pakistan's military and provided assistance to the Afghan Taliban across the border. He is closely aligned to Afghanistan's Jalaluddin Haqqani, a key eastern Afghan commander who coordinates activities between al Qaida and the Taliban.
MAULVI GUL BAHADAR: The leader behind the deeply flawed September 2006 agreement with the Pakistan military that gave breathing space for the burgeoning Pakistani Taliban. Based in North Waziristan.
Mehsud is based in the rugged, heavily treed mountains of South Waziristan, one of Pakistan's so-called tribal areas on the border with Afghanistan, where Western intelligence says al-Qaida is regrouping. His organization has claimed responsibility, often backed up by videos, for killing and kidnapping hundreds of soldiers, beheading women and burning schools that teach girls anything other than religion. He also claims he has a steady supply of suicide bombers and strong ties to al-Qaida.
During the interview, Mehsud said in halting Arabic that he had never met Osama bin Laden but knew Abu Musab al-Zarqawi well. Al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born head of al-Qaida in Iraq, was killed in a U.S. air raid two years ago.
Al-Qaida gives Mehsud money and logistical advice, according to one of his Taliban allies, Maulvi Muslim, who spoke to The Associated Press in a voice that barely rose above a whisper and fell silent when a stranger walked by.
The Al-Qaida funds don't always come in cash. Rather, Afghan and Pakistani businessmen _ usually in the United Arab Emirates _ are given money to buy high-priced goods like cars. The goods are shipped to Pakistan and sold, often tripling al-Qaida's investment. The businessmen, with sympathies to al-Qaida, take a small cut while al-Qaida spreads the wealth among its allies.
The Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan share ideological goals but have separate structures, Muslim said. The spiritual head of both is the one-eyed Mullah Mohammed Omar, the leader of Afghanistan's Taliban before being ousted by the U.S.-led coalition in November 2001 and to whom Mehsud swore allegiance in 2001, according to Muslim. ( BUT IT DIDN'T LAST, HE HAS BEEN FIGHTING PAKI INSTEAD OF NATO, SO MUCH FOR ALLEGIANCE. g )
According to Shah, Mehsud's troop strength then went from less than 100 to about 20,000, or roughly half the total thought to be under Taliban command in the northwest region that straddles the Pakistan-Afghan border. The agreement gave Mehsud the time to consolidate his forces and kill pro-government tribal leaders.
"The government policy of appeasement gave Mehsud a free hand to recruit and motivate," said Shah, who described Mehsud as "very cool and calculating."
Within a year of the agreement, Shah said, 123 pro-government tribal leaders were gunned down on Mehsud's orders, accused of spying. Other suspected spies were publicly hanged or beheaded. In the Bajour region of the tribal belt, many residents say they buy Taliban protection by letting one son join its ranks.
Note: he is the taliban, the tribes picked him.
Sometime in mid-December, as the winter winds howled across the snow-dusted hills of Pakistan's inhospitable border regions, 40 men representing Taliban groups all across Pakistan's northwest frontier came together to unify under a single banner and to choose a leader.
The banner was Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or the Taliban Movement of Pakistan, with a fighting force estimated at up to 40,000. And the leader was Baitullah Mehsud,
And Omar says get rid of him, and they Ignore Omar....the leader of the Afgan Taliban, it seems we have TWO talibans...the Pakistan Taliban and Afghan Taliban. Independent.
If Paki does take out the Taliban in this triangle area that effectively ends the HUGE taliban IN Paki, and cuts it in HALF.
New video: Paki Army narrows down target locations HERE.