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

Monday, August 20, 2007

War News for Monday, August 20, 2007

Smoke rises from the site of an attack in a village near the town of Qal'at Dizah, 325 km (200 miles) north of Baghdad, August 19, 2007. (Sherko/Reuters)

(1) MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a second Multi-National Corps - Iraq soldier from a non-hostile, unspecified cause in Baghdad on Sunday, August 19th.

(2) The Canadian Department of National Defense has confirmed that one of their troops was killed early on the morning of Sunday, August 19th, when his convoy was struck by an improvised explosive device about 20 km west of Kandahar. Can-West News Service has a few more details, including the fact that the soldier was from the storied Royal 22e RĂ©giment, known in English Canada as The Van Doos.

#1: at least one person was killed and three others injured when a mortar hit eastern Baghdad's Amin neighborhood Monday at midday, an Interior Ministry official said.

#2: three people were killed and 11 injured in the Rusafi district of central Baghdad when a motorcycle rigged with explosives blew up, the ministry said.

#3: A car bomb went off in Baghdad's eastern Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City on Monday, killing at least four people and wounding five others, an Interior Ministry source said. "A car bomb detonated in the afternoon in the al-Sadrain Squarein Sadr City neighborhood, killing four people and wounding five others," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#4: An MNC-I Soldier died of non-battle related causes August 19 in Baghdad.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Ten civilians were killed and 12 others wounded in an attack by U.S. helicopters on a town north of Baaquba on Monday, police said."The pounding left 10 people dead and 12 others wounded, and destroyed several houses in al-Bu Abdi town, (35 km) north of Baaquba," a security source told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI)."Dead bodies were retrieved from under the debris of the houses that collapsed in the attack, whose motives are unknown," the source said. No comment was made by the U.S. side on the incident.

#1: The governor of Muthana province in southern Iraq was killed by a roadside bomb in the city of Samawa Monday morning, an official with Iraq's Interior Ministry said. Mohammed Ali al-Hassani was traveling with his bodyguards when the attack took place around 9 a.m. (1 a.m. ET).

The blast struck the SUV carrying Gov. Mohammed Ali al-Hassani about 9 a.m., shortly after his convoy departed from his home in Rumaitha en route to his office in the provincial capital of Samawah, about 230 miles southeast of Baghdad. Al-Hassani, his driver and a guard were killed, while his office manager and two other guards were seriously wounded, police said.

#1: "All British bases in Basra came under indirect fire during the past 24 hours but caused no casualties or damage," Bird said. The British forces in Basra have two bases in the city's international airport, 25 km northwest of the city, and former presidential palaces, where the British and U.S. consulates are located.

#1: At least five Iraqi soldiers were killed when a roadside bomb hit their armoured vehicle in Taji, 20 km (12 miles) north of Baghdad, on Sunday, an Iraqi army source said.

#1: U.S forces killed eight gunmen and captured a cell leader and a weapons smuggler with suspected ties to Iran during a raid near Qasirin, north of Baghdad, the U.S military said.

#1: Gunmen kidnapped five truck drivers on the road between Baiji and Tikrit, police said.

#2: Gunmen killed two police officers in a drive-by shooting in Baiji, 180 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. The officers were brothers, they said.

Tuz Khurmato:
#1: One Iraqi soldier was killed and another wounded by a roadside bomb in Tuz Khurmato, 80 km (50 miles) south of Kirkuk, police said.

#1: Gunmen killed a civil servant in Hawija, 70 km (40 miles) southwest of Kirkuk, police said.

#1: Two policemen were seriously wounded by a roadside bomb in central Mosul, police said.

#2: The bodies of two policemen with gunshot wounds to the head were found in different areas parts of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#3: U.S. choppers pounded two areas in eastern Mosul allegedly housing gunmen on Monday morning, a police source from Ninewa said. "The U.S. warplanes strafed the areas of al-Bakr and al-Nour in eastern Mosul but caused no civilian casualties," the source, who declined to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Iraqi and U.S. forces evacuated their posts in Fallujah, the largest city in the Sunni province of Anbar, and were replaced by local policemen, security sources said on Monday. "Forces from the Iraqi and U.S. armies withdrew from six posts they jointly occupied during the recent period," a police officer, who declined to give his name, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: Frightened villagers hid in caves in Iraq's mountainous northeast while others fled on Monday, saying four days of intermittent shelling by the Iranian military had destroyed farms and killed livestock. Local officials and the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs in Iraq's largely autonomous Kurdistan region said on Saturday that two women had been hurt in the shelling, across a front of about 50 km (30 miles).

#1: Four suspected kidnappers were captured Monday as Afghan police freed a German aid worker who had been snatched from a restaurant while she ate with her husband, officials said.

#2: A suicide bomber killed three Pakistani paramilitary soldiers and wounded 18 on Monday in the latest incident in a wave of violence in the north-west of the country, police said. "A bomber rammed an explosive-laden car into a Frontier Corps checkpost and killed three soldiers," said Mahmood Alam, a police officer in Thal town, 300km west of Islamabad, in North West Frontier Province, referring to a paramilitary force. While police said three soldiers had been killed, military spokesperson Major General Waheed Arshad said according to his initial reports two soldiers had been killed and 16 wounded in the attack on the checkpost at a bridge in Thal

#3: After four days of bloody clashes in South Waziristan between the Pakistani security forces and militants, both sides have agreed on a ceasefire and prisoners' swap brokered by a tribal jirga. "Under the deal, the Pakistani government will release ten militants. In return, the militants would set free 15 paramilitary personnel," 'The News' reported on Monday, quoting a senior member of the tribal peace committee as saying. However, following the ceasefire on Sunday evening, the roads leading to Wana -- headquarters of South Waziristan -- and other parts of the tribal region have been reopened, according to the daily.
#9: Two soldiers were also injured in a separate militant attack on a checkpoint in the Bajaur district of NWFP, news reports said.