The US military is secretly diverting aerial drones from Afghanistan to escalate a CIA-led campaign against militants in neighboring Pakistan, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.
The military has lent Predator and Reaper drones to Central Intelligence Agency operatives to target and bomb militants on the Afghan border, the report said, citing unnamed US officials.
CIA drone strikes in September in Pakistan rose to an average of five per week, up from an average of two or three per week, the Journal said.
Increased strikes in September were partially aimed at disrupting a suspected terror plot against European targets, which was believed to target multiple countries, including Britain, France and Germany.
Unnamed US officials told the paper that a successful terrorist strike against the West coming from Pakistan could result in US forces taking unilateral military action.
According to the Journal, factories cannot produce aerial drones fast enough to satisfy the increased demands of the Pentagon and the CIA.
Pakistani officials have reported that at least 21 US drone attacks have killed around 120 people in September, the highest monthly tally of attacks.
The overwhelming majority of the attacks took place in North Waziristan, considered Pakistan’s most notorious bastion of Al-Qaeda-linked and Taliban commanders opposed to the US-led war in Afghanistan.
Most of the strikes have targeted the Haqqani network, one of the strongest US foes in Afghanistan whose leadership is based in North Waziristan.
But local tribesmen claimed the US missiles were killing civilians.
Washington has classified Pakistan’s tribal belt on the Afghan border as a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda.
A covert US drone war in Pakistan has killed around 1,140 people in about 140 strikes since August 2008, including a number of senior militants, but the attacks fuel anti-American sentiment in the conservative Muslim country.
Images from global climate strikes show city streets packed with millions of people
This Friday, millions of people around the world are skipping school and work to demand action on climate change. According to reports, "global climate strikes" are currently taking place in over 150 countries, all designed to take place ahead of the opening of the United Nations General Assembly and the Climate Action Summit this coming Monday.
Images coming out of New York City alone show the massive scale of the protests. Tweeting from the NYC march, climate activist Greta Thunberg said that "lower Manhattan is absolutely packed with people."
WATCH: Barbara McQuade explains how she jailed mayor of Detroit — for same thing Trump did
On Thursday, it was revealed that a whistleblower in the intelligence community has submitted a complaint about President Donald Trump's conduct with a foreign leader.
There was widespread speculation Friday on the nature of the complaint, but experts suspect it has to do with the president trying to extract opposition research on Joe Biden from the president of Ukraine. Recently, Trump's lawyer and friend Rudy Giulani traveled to the country to unearth dirt on Biden's son.
And experts are concerned that Trump promised the foreign leader a better relationship with the U.S. in exchange.
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According to WSJ, Trump asked Zelensky an estimated eight different times to launch a probe of Hunter Biden in a move aimed at crippling Joe Biden's presidential campaign.
"He told him that he should work with [Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani] on Biden, and that people in Washington wanted to know," one of WSJ's sources claims. According to this source, however, Trump on this phone call made no mention of foreign aid and didn't offer Zelensky an explicit quid-pro-quo for his cooperation in investigating Biden.