RAWALPINDI: After heavy air strikes by fighter jets for the last one-and-a-half years, the military finally announced to have launched a ground offensive against the local and foreign militants in the remote and mountainous Shawal Valley of North Waziristan on Thursday.
On the first day of the air strikes and ground battle, military officials said 43 militants were killed.
Military sources said the troops had already entered the forest-covered Shawal Valley, and started face-to-face fight against the militants there.
“It’s one of the few most difficult terrains in Fata. We would be using ground forces as well as fighter jets and Pakistan Army Cobra gunship helicopters to flush the terrorists out of this valley,” said a senior military official who wished to remain anonymous.
Director General, Inter Services Public Relations, Asim Saleem Bajwa, announced the beginning of the ground operations in a statement and via a social media website Twitter.
According to the DG ISPR, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif has directed for accomplishment of military objectives as soon as possible.
Bajwa also tweeted that the COAS also ordered ideal coordination between air and ground assaults for maximum outcome.