London: American Special Forces have conducted multiple clandestine raids into Pakistan`s tribal areas as part of a secret war in the border region, according to reports.
The Guardian quoted an unnamed former Nato officer as saying that the incursions occurred between 2003 and 2008, and involved helicopter-borne elite soldiers stealing across the border at night, and were never declared to the Pakistani government.
"The Pakistanis were kept entirely in the dark about it. It was one of those things we wouldn`t confirm officially with them," the report quoted the officer as saying and added that he had detailed knowledge of the operations.
After the only publicly acknowledged special forces raid in September 2008, Pakistan`s foreign office condemned it as "a grave provocation" while the military threatened retaliatory action, the report said. The former Nato officer said SAS units were active in Balochistan in 2002, 2003 and possibly beyond, attacking drug traffickers. "It was of strategic concern to the UK at the time," he said.
Until now, the US had heeded Pakistani objections to drone strikes in Balochistan. But that could change, if troop casualties mount, a former senior US official warned.