A U.S. drone missile offensive aimed at driving Haqqani Network fighters out of Pakistan appeared imminent as American forces gathered near its border. Hit the jump to read the rest of the story.

Pakistan Army sources told the Telegraph that the U.S. plan was to force the hardcore fighters from their bases in North Waziristan and into Afghanistan – where they will be “encircled, arrested or killed.”

The Haqqani fighters were blamed for recent attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan from their outposts near the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Last month, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen cited Haqqani fighters for conspiring with Pakistan intelligence to plot the deadly attack on the U.S. embassy in Kabul.

According to the Telegraph, U.S. forces were joined by Afghan troops in the border offensive. The presence of nearby American helicopters, artillery and troops resulted in a severe case of nerves among the tribal fighters.

The groups held a meeting in Miranshah to consider the appropriate response to the anticipated strike, the London newspaper said.

Pakistani forces were prepared to respond to any attempt by U.S. forces to cross the border into their country, according to the Telegraph.