The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Security Incidents for Wednesday, August 15, 2007

(1) MNF-Iraq is reporting the deaths of five U.S. Servicemembers in the crash of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter near Al Taqaddum Air Base in Al Anbar Province on Tuesday, August 14th. The chopper was on a routine post-maintenance check flight when it went down.

(2) The DoD has announced a new death, not previously reported by CENTCOM. Marine Sergeant Michael E. Tayaotao, 27, of Sunnyvale, California, died from enemy action in Al Anbar Province on Thursday, August 9th. A detailed entry on a blog called "from the boondocks" describes Tayaotao as being of Filipino extraction, specifically Igorot from the island of Luzon. His father lives there now, while his mother lives in California. Tayaotao had enlisted in the Marines right out of high school and was due to end his current enlistment in one month, at which point he planned to return home to resume his studies. Unfortunately, those hopes were ended by a roadside bomb. He had requested that if he died in Iraq he wanted to be buried in Poway, California, beside his younger brother who had died last October 2006 while attending the University of California/Irvine.

(3) Deutsche Presse-Agentur is reporting the death of the first Polish soldier in Afghanistan, 28-year-old Lukasz Kurowski. An article from AFP described the incident as an ambush by Taliban insurgents on a NATO patrol in the eastern province of Paktia on Tuesday, August 14th. Kurowski died of his wounds while being airlifted to a field hospital. Five Afghan soldiers were wounded in the attack.


#1: Insurgents killed three police commandos and wounded two others in southern Baghdad's Doura district, police said

#2: Around 11 a.m., mortars hit Sadr city . No casualties reported.

#3: Around 12 p.m., random fire by an American convoy at Bab Al-Sharji ( downtown ) killing 1 person and injuring another.

#4: Around 12 p.m., two people were killed by sniper shots at Siba’a intersection near Sheikh Omar ( downtown Baghdad) .

#5: Around 12.30 p.m., gunmen opened fire on a patrol for police commandos at Doura neighborhood ( south Baghdad) killing three and injuring two others.

#6: U.S. forces killed 11 suspected insurgents and detained four others during operations targeting al Qaeda in central and northern Iraq, the U.S. military said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: the U.S. military heralded success in Day Two of a nationwide offensive against Sunni insurgents with links to al-Qaida and Shiite militiamen. Ten thousand U.S. troops and 6,000 Iraqi soldiers were involved in air and ground assaults across Diyala and Salahuddin provinces, both north of Baghdad. More than 300 artillery rounds, rockets and bombs were dropped in the Diyala River valley late Monday and early Tuesday, the U.S. military said in a statement. Three suspected al-Qaida gunmen were killed and eight were taken prisoner, the military said. American troops also discovered several roadside bombs rigged to explode, as well as a booby-trapped house, it said. In the Iraqi capital, U.S. special forces and Iraqi soldiers detained three suspected al-Qaida in Iraq leaders and four Shiite militia suspects in separate raids Tuesday, the military said.

#1: At least resident was killed and 13 wounded in clashes between insurgent gunmen and Iraqi security forces in Buhriz, 60 km (35 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said. They said seven insurgents were also killed

#2: Iraqi police and residents clashed with gunmen early Wednesday northeast of Baghdad, and 14 people were killed in the fighting, police said. The battle began after mortar rounds fell on Buhriz, a suburb of Baqouba, some 60 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of the Iraqi capital, a police officer said on condition of anonymity out of security concerns. Residents and local police amassed at the center of town and took up positions in grassy areas on the edge of Buhriz, battling suspected al-Qaida attackers for three hours, the officer said. Eight of those killed were gunmen, and six were civilians, he said. Twenty others were wounded — all civilians, the officer added.

#1: Thousands of followers of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took to the streets in Najaf in a peaceful protest against the detention. Demonstrators shouted anti-American slogans and called for an end to what they called random raids and rights violations targeting the movement.

#2: Two gunmen opened fire against Mohammad Abdul Monaem, an employee from the joint operations office of the Najaf civil administration, in front of his house in al-Jamaaiya neighborhood, north of Najaf, at 9:00 pm on Tuesday, killing him instantly,” the source, who refused to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq. A nearby police patrol hunted down the gunmen until their motorcycle turned around in front of al-Rahma neighborhood, where they hid,” he added, noting that Iraqi forces, backed by U.S. troops, cordoned off the neighborhood for three hours. He did not clarify the fate of the two gunmen

#1: Gunmen killed one person and wounded another in Madaen, 45 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A suicide car bomb attacked the convoy of a senior judge on Wednesday in Hilla City, the capital of Babylon province, leaving the judge seriously injured, a provincial police source said. "A suicide car bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into the convoy of Judge Aqeel Adnan Witwit while heading for his office in the 40th Street in central Hilla, some 100 km south of Baghdad, leaving the judge seriously injured and two of his bodyguards killed," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Seven pedestrians were also wounded, while several cars of the convoy were damaged in the blast, the source said

#1: a parked car bomb targeted a police patrol in southern Mosul, killing a civilian and injuring ten others, police and army officers said.

#2: Wednesday morning, two car bombs exploded at Noor neighborhood ( downtown Mosul city) targeting police patrols killing ten including three policemen.

#3: gunmen attacked police stations in eastern side of Mosul city by mortars . No casualties reported

#1: Tuesday night, a car bomb targeted a police patrol at the celebration yard near Zamzam bakery ( downtown Kirkuk) killing one policeman and injuring 21 others including three civilians.

#2: After ten minutes of Tuesday , a roadside bomb targeted a civilian mini truck on the main way of Kirkuk –Daquq in front of Taza park ( south of Kirkuk city ) killing one passenger and injuring another.

#1: (update) Rescuers dug through the muddy wreckage of collapsed clay houses in northwest Iraq on Wednesday, uncovering victims of four suicide bombings that Iraqi officials said killed at least 200 people in one of the worst attacks of the war. It was most vicious attack yet against the Yazidis, an ancient religious community in the region. Some 300 people were wounded in the blasts, said Dakhil Qassim, the mayor of the nearby town of Sinjar. "We are still digging with our hands and shovels because we can't use cranes because many of the houses were built of clay," Qassim said. "We are expecting to reach the final death toll tomorrow or day after tomorrow as we are getting only pieces of bodies."

At least 500 people were killed and 375 injured in a series of bombings and mortar shelling that ripped through a village in Sinjar town of this northern Iraqi city, hospital sources said. "We have received 500 corpses and 375 injured people," said Kifah Muhammad, the manager of the hospital in Sinjar, a town in Nineveh province.

#1: Three police officers attached to the German embassy in Kabul were killed when their vehicles were hit by a roadside bomb on the eastern outskirts of Kabul Wednesday, the German government in Berlin and Afghan police said. A fourth officer was injured in the blast that occurred while the officers were on their way to a shooting range at Bagrami, east of Kabul. Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble stressed that the officers were all attached to the embassy and not part of the European Union police mission EUPOL that trains Afghan police officers. The officers had been travelling in a "specially protected vehicle," Schaeuble said, but this had still not been able to protect them.

#2: Suspected rebel tribesmen attacked security forces guarding a gas pipeline in insurgency-hit southwestern Pakistan, killing two troops, police said Wednesday. Assailants fired assault rifles late Tuesday at the paramilitary post in Sui, a gas-rich tribal area in the southwestern Baluchistan province, police officer Najmuddin Tareen said. The troops returned fire but two were killed, and the attackers retreated toward nearby mountains, Tareen said

#3: three people were killed in an explosion in the restive North-West Frontier Province, which is also borders on Afghanistan. Police were trying to determine the cause of the blast, which occurred in the house of a suspected militant in the Swabi district, the Geo news channel reported.

#4: pro-Taliban fighters fired three rockets at a security checkpoint in nearby South Waziristan. Security forces launched retaliatory strikes against suspected militant hideouts in the mountainous tribal belt.

#5: Hundreds of U.S.-led troops have launched an offensive against al-Qaida and Taliban militants in an area of eastern Afghanistan where Osama bin Laden once hid, officials said Wednesday. Ground troops and airstrikes are targeting "hundreds of foreign fighters" dug into positions in the Tora Bora region of eastern Nangarhar province, coalition spokeswoman Capt. Vanessa Bowman. She did not say when the operation began or how long it was expected to last.

#7: A British man working for a private security company was shot dead in Kabul, Afghanistan, today, the Foreign Office said. The spokesman did not name the victim or explain the circumstances leading up to the death..