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

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

War News for Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Photo: Workers walk away from a fire that broke out at the oil refinery in Baiji, 180 km (112 miles) north of Baghdad January 7, 2008. An explosion at a fuel storage tank caused a huge blaze at Iraq's largest refinery on Monday, inflicting burns on at least 36 workers and killing three before being brought under control, witnesses said. REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ)

The DoD is announcing a new death of a sailor supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Petty Officer Second Class Menelek M. Brown was declared dead Jan. 4 after apparently going overboard from USS Hopper in the Arabian Sea Jan. 3. Navy aircraft and ships conducted an extensive search but did not locate him.

CJTF-82 is reporting the deaths of two service members in an explosion in the Kot District of Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan on Monday, December 7. One other service personal was wounded in the attack. We assume these to be Americans.

Security incidents:

#1: The same day, gunmen kidnapped eight Awakening members at a checkpoint in Shaab, a mainly-Shiite neighbourhood in northeastern Baghdad where Awakening members have taken control of security, an Iraqi official said. "Gunmen in five cars arrived in Shaab neighbourhood on Monday evening and abducted eight Shiite Awakening members who were controlling a checkpoint," the interior ministry official said on Tuesday.

#2: Ismael Abbas, the Awakening leader in Shaab, was shot dead in the street by gunmen using silencers, he added.

#3: In other violence in the capital on Tuesday, a police colonel was shot dead by unknown attackers in the mainly-Shiite Zafaraniyah neighbourhood in southeastern Baghdad, an interior ministry official said.

Around 7 a.m., gunmen assassinated an officer of the ministry of interior “ Mohammad Aziz Al-Gatia in his car in Zafrania neighborhood ( east Baghdad) .

#4: In the western Mansour neighbourhood, a tax department official was shot dead by gunmen as he left his home.

Gunmen using weapons with silencers killed the deputy manager of the Mansour district tax office in western Baghdad, police said.

#5: A roadside bomb killed the chief of the Yarmouk District Council, Salih Mansour Hussein, and wounded two of his bodyguards in the Yarmouk district of western Baghdad, police said.

#6: Around 3 p.m., two mortars hit Medain district ( south of Baghdad ) injuring 2 people.

#7: Around 3 .30 p.m., a roadside bomb targeted an American patrol at Rashid camp neighborhood ( south east Baghdad) . No casualties reported.

#8: Police found 5 unidentified dead bodies in the following neighborhood in Baghdad: ( 3 ) dead bodies were found in west Baghdad ( Karkh bank ) ; 1 in Doura , 1 in Bayaa and Amil . While ( 2 ) were found in east Baghdad ( Risafa bank) ; 1 in Ubaidi and 1 in Fudhailiyah.

Diyala Prv:
#1: U.S. and Iraqi forces launched a major operation Tuesday to strike against al-Qaida in Iraq and other extremists, a top U.S. commander in Iraq said in a statement. The location for the division and brigade-level operation, dubbed Phantom Phoenix, was not announced. But extremists have been pushed out of their former stronghold in Anbar province west of Baghdad to the east and north and appear to be concentrated in the province of Diyala to the northeast of the capital.

#2: A civilian was injured when unknown armed men opened fire on him in al-Saadiya region in Khaniqeen district, northeast of Baaquba," the source continued.

#1: An explosive device went off near a house in Muqdadiya, northeast of Baaquba, injuring a woman," the source, who requested anonymity, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: Gunmen killed a neighbourhood patrol volunteer at a checkpoint in Latifiya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A suicide bomber wearing an explosives vest attacked a police checkpoint, killing one policeman and wounding another along with two civilians in Madaen, 45 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Gunmen shot and wounded a former army officer on Monday south of Hilla, 100 km (60 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Police said they had killed a lawyer with stray bullets when they returned fire after being shot at in northern Kut, 170 km (100 miles) southeast of Baghdad.

Salman Pak:
#1: At Salman Pak, around 25 kilometres (16 miles) southeast of Baghdad, two policemen were killed and eight people, four of them police, were wounded when a suicide bomber attacked a security checkpoint, police said. The male bomber disguised himself in the all-covering abaya garment worn by women, a police official said.

#1: Three people of the same family were killed in an armed attack in the district of al-Huweija, southwest of Kirkuk, on Tuesday, an official security source in Kirkuk police said."Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a civilian vehicle carrying a man, his wife and his son, who is a soldier in the Iraqi army, in al-Hueweija, (70 km) southwest of Kirkuk, killing them instantly," the source, who refused to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: Two bodies were found in eastern Mosul, one of them handcuffed and blindfolded, police said.

#2: A roadside bomb went off on al-Shura district road, south of Mosul, killing a civilian and causing severe material damage to his car," the source, who asked to be unnamed, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#3: the same source said, "police patrols found this afternoon three bullets-riddled bodies: one in al-Qahera neighborhood in northern Mosul, while the two remaining bodies were found in al-Mulawatha and al-Sahagi regions in western Mosul."

#1: Police forces found two bodies of workers in a house under construction west of Sulaimaniya, a source from the Sulaimaniya emergency police department said on Tuesday."A citizen informed the police of the two bodies in a house under construction in Kani Kourda west of Sulaimaniya," Lieutenant Umed Mohammad Ahmad told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq