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Sources: U.S. resumes Pakistan drone flights

  • Story Highlights
  • U.S. military resumes flying reconnaissance drones over Pakistan's tribal regions
  • Operations aim to help provide critical intelligence to Pakistan's security forces
  • Drones are used to collect intelligence on potential insurgent targets
  • The flights are done at the request of the Pakistani government, officials said
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(CNN) -- The U.S. military in recent weeks has resumed flying unmanned reconnaissance drones over Pakistan's tribal regions to help provide critical intelligence to Pakistan's security forces, two U.S. military officials confirmed to CNN Tuesday.

The officials would not be identified because the operation is not being publicly announced due to security concerns and Pakistan's sensitivity to any involvement with the U.S. military.

Cameras, sensors and other intelligence equipment on the drones are used to collect intelligence and data on potential insurgent targets the Pakistani military forces plan to attack.

Pakistan has openly acknowledged the latest operations by the Pakistani military are aimed at South Waziristan, where the Pakistani military is targeting Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud. The U.S. drones provide video feeds and other data to a U.S.-Pakistani coordination center where the intelligence is then sent to Pakistani commanders.

All of the U.S. military flights are done at the request of the Pakistani government, the officials said. The U.S. drones may be armed but only so they also can fly over Afghanistan and strike targets there, officials say.

There is no authority or plan for U.S. military drones to fire on targets in Pakistan. Dozens of drone missile attacks in Pakistan over recent years have been carried out by drones flown by the CIA.

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