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

Saturday, August 18, 2007

War News for Saturday, August 18, 2007

(1) MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a roadside bombing in an eastern neighborhood of Baghdad on Friday, August 17th. Two soldiers were also wounded in the attack.

(2) The DoD has announced what looks like a new death, not previously reported by CENTCOM: Staff Sergeant Robert R. Pirelli, 29, of Franklin, Massachusetts. Pirelli, a Green Beret with the 10th Special Forces Group out of Fort Carson, CO, died in a small arms fire attack on Wednesday, August 15th. According to a press release published by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, he died in Diyala Province. Pirelli enlisted in the Army as an infantryman in December 2003, but then went on to complete the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2006. In March of 2007 he was deployed to Iraq for the first time. Pirelli is survived by his parents, a brother and a sister.

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Baghdad:
#1: Eleven bodies were found dumped in different parts of Baghdad over the past 24 hours, police said.

#2: U.S forces killed two militants and detained 16 others during operations in central and northern Iraq, the U.S military said in a statement.

Diyala Prv:
Khalis:
#1: Mortar shells barraged a Shiite enclave north of Baghdad, killing at least three people on Saturday. About 16 mortar shells rained on houses in the Sharqiya residential area in Khalis, 50 miles north of Baghdad, police said. They said 24 people were wounded in addition to the three killed.


Iskandariya:
#1: Police found three bodies in Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said. All had been shot in the head.


Kut:
#1: Clashes broke out between fighters of Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militias and U.S. forces in Kut during the early hours of Saturday, eyewitnesses from the city said. "A U.S. force backed by warplanes tried to enter the neighborhood of al-Jihad but was resisted by Mahdi Army militiamen's light arms fire and forced the attacking troops back," an eyewitness told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). The witness could not specify whether there were casualties on either side and security sources could not be reached for information.


Hawija:
#1: Gunmen killed a police officer in a drive-by shooting in Hawija, 70 km (40 miles) southwest of Kirkuk, police said.


Kirkuk:
#1: a series of bombs struck commercial areas in the disputed city, killing at least four people and wounding 38. The attacks started Friday evening when a bomb struck a mainly Turkomen open-air market in the Qoriyah district in the city center, killing two people and wounding 25, police Col. Burhan Tayeb Taha said. Three more explosions struck the city within three hours, killing two people and wounding 13, Taha said. Police said at least three women and five children were wounded, including 4-year-old Diyar Mohammed.

Afghanistan:
#1: Armed assailants abducted a German woman from a restaurant in western Kabul, officials said Saturday. In the Kabul kidnapping, armed men pulled up next to a barbecue and fast food restaurant, and one of the men went inside and ordered a pizza, said an intelligence official investigating the incident. The man then pulled out a pistol, walked up to a table where the woman was sitting with her boyfriend, and took her from the restaurant, the official said on condition of anonymity, citing department policy. The boyfriend was not kidnapped.

#2: In southern Afghanistan, a suicide car bomber detonated near a convoy of private security forces, killing four Afghan guards and 11 civilians, including women and children, police said. The suicide car bombing went off west of Kandahar city and also wounded six other guards as well as 20 civilians who were in two minivans passing by the convoy, Kandahar provincial police chief Syed Agha Saqib said. Three women and two children died in the blast, and five women and three children were among the civilians wounded. Women's and children's shoes were scattered about the area.
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#4: In neighboring Helmand province, insurgents holed up in buildings and trenches attacked Afghan police and coalition forces Friday near Fire Base Robinson, the coalition said in a statement. Nearly a dozen suspected militants were killed in the ensuing battle. It was the third insurgent attack on the joint forces in as many days, the statement said. No Afghan or coalition forces were wounded in the three days of fighting.

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