The White House on Wednesday would not confirm or deny reports that Waliur Rehman, the number two commander of the Pakistani Taliban, was killed in a U.S. drone strike, telling reporters at his daily briefing that "we are not in the position to confirm the reports."
He made a point of saying, however, that "if those reports were true or prove to be true, it's worth noting that his demise would deprive the TTP, Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, of its second-in-command and chief military strategist."
CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmerfrom London Wednesday that Rehman's death has been confirmed. Rehman appeared to have died in a drone strike early Wednesday morning that destroyed a house and killed at least five other people.
Local sources confirmed to CBS News that Rehman and his three companions, Commander Adil, Naseeruddin, and Fakhar e Alam had been staying at the house that was hit for the last three days.
Pressed on whether or not the White House would be releasing information into this kind of alleged drone strike or others in the future, Carney said that new standards for transparency on the U.S. drone policy, which the president unveiled in a major counterterrorism speech last week, do "not mean that we would be able to discuss the details of every counterterrorism operation."
Still, he emphasized that "it is important on this to -- with regards to this individual -- to know a little bit about his background."
"Wali ur-Rehman has participated in cross-border attacks in Afghanistan against U.S. and NATO personnel, and horrific attacks against Pakistani civilians and soldiers," Carney said. "And he is wanted in connection to the murder of seven American citizens on December 30th, 2009, at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan. So while I am not in a position to confirm the reports of his death, it's important to note who this individual is."