Pakistan Update: Offensive in Swat continues

To bring you up to date, the offensive in Swat continues with the government reporting 230 Taliban killed and 150 captured. On Friday they took over Fazlullah’s madrassa compound and sealed it off. They also razed his and his key aide’s homes. The remaining TNSM fled to the North and east into higher mountainous country.

Above them lies Chitral, to the East Pakistani controlled Kashmir, and to the West are passages to the Kunar valley in Afghanistan. The elevation of the valley floors they are are in is about 4,300 feet, with peaks surrounding them rising to as high as 11,000 feet.

The pursuit after this will be slow going since the Pak army has a policy of taking all surrounding high ground before advancing. (This is something that was pointed out as a failure of the troops who got captured earlier this year.) In December at those elevations the options for the Taliban are running out as many of the high passes and paths are blocked by Ice and snow.