The United States has shifted its focus of drones attacks from North Waziristan to South Waziristan. Indeed, in the month of June, eight out of twelve predator attacks were carried out in South Waziristan.
In terms of those killed, June was the deadliest month of the year 2011 in which CIA killed as many as 118 persons in 12 drone attacks in Pakistan's tribal area. The figures come from a monthly report compiled by Conflict Monitoring Centre.
The report also shows that the US has carried out 50 drone attacks during first six months of the year 2011 and killed 371 persons. June 2011 also witnessed highest number of drone attacks in 2011 at par with March 2011. Both the months saw 12 drone attacks each. However, number of subsequent deaths in June exceeded all months of 2011.
According to CMC report, it was for the first time since the drone campaign started in 2004 that number of drone attacks in South Waziristan exceeded the number of attacks in North Waziristan. THe report notes:"Eight out of twelve drone attacks were carried out in South Waziristan during June 2011. South Waziristan is known as a safe haven for anti-Pakistan Taliban whereas militants operating in North Waziristan generally target US and Nato forces across the border inside Afghanistan,"
The focus of the drone attacks has been upon anti-Pakistan militants. Perhpas this is an attempt to get the Pakistani military to support the strikes. Perhaps also the the Pakistani intelligence is providing intelligence for the strikes.
In 2010 the situation was quite different.According to the yearly report of Conflict Monitoring Center, during the year 2010, CIA has carried out 132 attacks inside Pakistan and only nine of them were in South Waziristan.
Since Pakistan has not yet started a campaign in North Waziristan many expected drone attacks to increase there. It should be noted though that some anti-Afghan militants have shifted to South Waziristan because of the drone attacks on the north earlier.
The report notes that a number of militant leaders were killed but also it notes: "As usual, civilian deaths were overlooked by the security officials who released death tolls to the media representatives. There was no independent reporting observed during the month and media organizations only relied on body counts released by security officials. Despite controlled release of information, there was no consistency in the claims of security officials. However, a public demonstration on June 16 revealed that all those killed in a drone attack on June 15 were innocent civilians."
The Pakistani parliament passed a motion demanding the the drone attacks be stopped but this haa not happened. Apparently the U.S. has ceased launching drones from Pakistan and now all come from Afghanistan.