DAMASCUS, SYRIA (12:15 AM) – The head of the Pakistani Air Force, Sohail Aman, has stated that Pakistan will shoot down any and all illegally operating combat drones in Pakistani airspace, even if those drones are from the United States.

“We will not allow anyone to violate our airspace,” Aman stated during a speech on the new Pakistani aerial defence policy, adding that he “ordered PAF to shoot down drones, including those of the US, if they enter our airspace, violating the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

US military and private paramilitary forces have routinely carried out drone strikes and targeted killings on Pakistani soil for years, ever since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. This was confirmed by former CIA agent John Kiriakou, who used to lead a so-called counterterrorism unit in Pakistan.

Pakistan has regularly condemned the US drone strikes, that usually take place without permission of Islamabad, and often even without prior knowledge by the Pakistani government. The high toll in civilian casualties caused by the US drone operations have led to widespread outcry all over Pakistan.

However, the new policy of the Pakistani Air Force marks the first ever time that the country has resolved to actually respond to illegal US drone transgressions by military means.

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Historian specialized in Arab history, Islamic studies and geopolitical analysis. Based in Belgium.

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