ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he was encouraged by the Pakistani offensive in South Waziristan but added it was too early to gauge the impact.
“I’m obviously encouraged by the Pakistani operations. I think that the terrorist attacks that have been launched inside Pakistan in recent days made clear the need to begin to deal with this problem,” he said.
“And so we obviously are very supporting of what the Pakistanis are doing. But it’s very early yet.”
The fighting is a new test of the Pakistani government’s determination to tackle an increasingly brazen insurgency that has seen a string of attacks in different parts of the country, including an assault on army headquarters.
Reporting by Phil Stewart, Editing by Dean Yates