WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Washington is very pleased with Pakistan's announcement that it captured rebel territory in restive South Waziristan, officials said.
Pakistani forces launched military operations on Taliban and other militants in the volatile tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan on Oct. 17.
The military this week claimed a major victory against rebel fighters be recapturing several highways and towns in the volatile South Waziristan region in the mountainous Taliban stronghold.
U.S. officials link a successful counterinsurgency campaign in Pakistan to international efforts to bring stability to neighboring Afghanistan.
Washington notes that while the Pakistanis have their own battles to wage, it is supporting them every step of the way. U.S. lawmakers passed a recent financial package to support Pakistan, and Gen. James Jones, the U.S. national security adviser, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were in the country recently to discuss bilateral issues.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters the aid package was evidence of U.S. support for the Pakistani collaboration.
"We've been very supportive of their offensive in South Waziristan and supportive of their efforts to deal with the problem of the violent extremists in the region," he said.
The Pakistani military said it has killed as many as 500 militants while suffering 70 combat fatalities since October operations began.