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, October 10, 2007

War News for Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Security incidents:

#1: U.S. forces killed nine suspected insurgents and detained 21 others during operations targeting al Qaeda networks in Baghdad, Mahmudiya, Mosul, Baiji and Samarra on Monday and Tuesday, the U.S. military said.

#2: One person was killed and five wounded when gunmen attacked a small bus carrying civil servants in the Bayaa district of southwestern Baghdad, police said.

#3: One civilian was killed and six wounded by a roadside bomb targeting a U.S. patrol in Baghdad's Karrada district, police said.

#4: A roadside bomb wounded two people in central Baghdad's Karrada district, police said.

#5: Gunmen opened fire on a mini-bus, killing one person and wounding six, in the Saidiya district of southern Baghdad, police said.

#6: Iraqi soldiers killed 41 suspected insurgents and wounded 89 others during the past 24 hours in different areas of Iraq, the Defence Ministry said.

#1: Unknown armed men opened fire against a policeman in the Jana region in central Diwaniyah, killing him on the spot, the source said.

#2: Another armed group opened fire against a policeman near his house in Nahda neighbourhood, the source added.

#3: A mortar round which landed in a primary school in Diwaniya wounded four teachers and five children, hospital officials said.

#1: Gunmen kidnapped Abdul-Razzaq Hashim, the head of Basra International Airport, from his house in the airport compound near Basra, 550 km (340 miles) south of Baghdad, on Tuesday, police said.

#1: Six people were killed and 10 wounded when a car bomb exploded near the convoy of Colonel Jassim Hussein Mohammed, the chief of security of Salahuddin province, in the city of Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, a joint U.S. and Iraqi security centre said.

#1: A suicide bomber detonated, this morning, a car rigged with explosives outside the office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in the Khorsbat area, 25 km north of Mosul, killing two people and wounding 16," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The deaths included a member of the KDP and a guard, the source said, adding that most of the wounded people were KDP members.

#1: Turkey is shelling suspected Kurdish rebel camps across the border in northern Iraq, a newspaper reported Wednesday, but the government appeared unlikely to move toward sending ground troops until next week. Turkish troops targeting the guerrillas' suspected escape routes in mountainous areas in Sirnak province have "squeezed" a group of about 80 rebels on Mt. Gabar, in Sirnak, the Hurriyet newspaper reported. Escape routes were being bombed by helicopter gunships while transport helicopters were airlifting special commando units to strategic points. Turkish troops were also shelling suspected PKK camps in the regions of Kanimasa, Nazdur and Sinath, in northern Iraq, from positions in Turkey's Hakkari province, just across the border, Hurriyet reported. Tanks were positioned near the town of Silopi, in Sirnak province, the paper said.

#1: Two people have been killed and at least 10 injured in Afghanistan after gunmen opened fire in a mosque during prayers in a province bordering Kabul. The mosque shooting took place in Wardak province which borders Kabul. A police chief said around 10 gunmen entered the building in Abad district. They opened fire, killing two people and injuring others including a boy. Police are trying to find a motive.

#2: In a separate incident, also near the capital, a mullah was shot dead. In neighbouring Logar province on Tuesday night the Afghan interior ministry said a mullah on his way home from prayers was abducted and then shot a number of times.

#3: The UK's Ministry of Defense says armed Taliban militants generally attack British troops deployed in Afghanistan about four times a day. There have been 1,359 attacks on British troops from October 2006 to August this year, Defense Secretary Des Browne said in a written reply to parliament, published on Tuesday. "Attacks levels will vary according to seasonal factors, planned enemy activity and the operational tempo of UK forces," Browne remarked.

#4: A German engineer and four Afghans taken hostage in July were freed Wednesday in exchange for six Taliban fighters, an Afghan official said. Rudolf Blechschmidt and the four Afghans were handed over by local elders to officials from Afghanistan's intelligence service in the Jaghato district of Wardak province, said the district chief, Mohammad Nahim. Six detained Taliban militants had been freed in the swap, he said.
#5: NATO-led and Afghan troops clashed with Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan, leaving eight suspected militants dead and three detained, an official said Wednesday. The clashes occurred in Zhari district of Kandahar province on Tuesday evening and Wednesday, and there were no casualties among NATO or Afghan forces in the fighting, said provincial Police Chief Sayed Agha Saqib.

#6: A roadside bomb targeted a police vehicle in the same district Wednesday, wounding four officers, Saqib said.

Casualty Reports:

The DoD has confirmed the death of Corporal Benjamin C. Dillon of the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, out of Fort Benning, GA. According to the release, he was killed in a small arms fire attack "in northern Iraq" on Sunday, October 7th.

The DoD has identified the Marine who died from enemy action in Al Anbar Province on Monday, October 8th: Lance Corporal Jeremy W. Burris, 22, of Tacoma, Washington. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, out of Camp Pendleton, CA.