The US has refused to identify the precise location of a drone strike on an al-Qaeda hideout that killed two hostages, even as the former officials and media reports claimed that the attack took place in Pakistan.
“I’m not in a position to be more specific about the location where this operation took place, beyond saying that it took place in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement.
However, a former Pentagon official and US media reports claimed the al-Qaeda compound was in Pakistan.
“White House spokesperson keeps saying Afghan-Pakistan region. Why does he say Afghanistan when clearly the strike took place in Pakistan?” asked David S Sedney, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia.
“Why was capture ‘not feasible’? What was basis for decision that relevant sovereign government lacked ability to carry out operation?” Sedney questioned in his tweet.
The Washington Post reported that the suspected al-Qaeda compound was in Pakistan.
A US counter-terrorism operation targeting the Qaeda compound in January inadvertently killed two hostages, including one American, Warren Weinstein.
Ever since his abduction in 2011, the Governments of Pakistan and the US were in constant touch on this issue.
Pakistan’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies had also been making strenuous efforts to locate his whereabouts, said Nadeem Hotiana, spokesperson of the Pakistan Embassy.
“Even as Pakistan prepared to launch military operations in FATA, the law enforcement personnel were given special instructions to particularly look for possible clues that could help Pakistan locate and safely recover Warren Weinstein,” he said.
Earnest told reporters that both Pakistan and Afghanistan have received notifications about this matter because the operation was carried out in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.
“I’m not able to speak to the specific communications between the US government and the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan in advance of the operation,” he said.
“I can tell you that in recent days, after the high- confidence assessment was completed by the intelligence community that Dr. Weinstein and Lo Porto were killed in a US government counter-terrorism action, that this information was conveyed to both the Pakistani government and the Afghan government,” Earnest said.