Pakistan Says U.S Drones In Its Air Space Will Be Shot down

Pakistan will shoot down any U.S. drone that intrudes its air space per
new directives, a senior Pakistani official told NBC News on Saturday.
According to the new Pakistani defense policy, “Any object entering into
our air space, including U.S. drones, will be treated as hostile and be
shot down,” a senior Pakistani military official told NBC News.

The policy change comes just weeks after a deadly NATO attack on
Pakistani military checkpoints accidentally killed 24 Pakistani
soldiers, prompting Pakistani officials to order all U.S. personnel out
of a remote airfield in Pakistan.

Pakistan told the U.S. to vacate Shamsi Air Base by December 11.

A senior military official from Quetta, Pakistan, confirmed to NBC News
on Saturday that the evacuation of the base, used for staging classified
drone flights directed against militants, “will be completed tomorrow,”
according to NBC’s Fakhar ur Rehman.


Pakistan’s Frontier Corps security forces took control of the base
Saturday evening after most U.S. military personnel left, Xinhua news
agency reported. Civil aviation officials also moved in Saturday, Xinhua
said.

Pakistani Military Chief Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani had issued multiple
directives since the Nov. 26 NATO attack, which included orders to shoot
down U.S. drones, senior military officials confirmed to NBC News on
Saturday.

It was unclear Saturday whether orders to fire upon incoming U.S. drones was part of the initial orders.

The Pakistani airbase had been used by U.S. forces, including the CIA,
to stage elements of a clandestine U.S. counter-terrorism operation to
attack militants linked to al-Qaida, the Taliban and Pakistan’s
home-grown Haqqani network, using unmanned drone aircraft armed with
missiles.

President Barack Obama stepped up the drone campaign after he took
office. U.S. officials say it has produced major successes in decimating
the central leadership of al-Qaida and putting associated militant
groups on the defensive.

Since 2004, U.S. drones have carried out more than 300 attacks inside Pakistan.