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

Friday, February 8, 2008

War News for Friday, February 08, 2008

#1: U.S. troops captured an alleged Shiite militia leader and three other suspects in a raid south of Baghdad, the U.S. military said today. The operation took place late Thursday in the Mashru area, the military said.

#2: In a separate statement issued Friday, the military said rogue militiamen continue to launch "hit and run attacks" on U.S. and Iraqi forces from Sadr City. There were at least six attacks on American troops in two sections of Sadr City during the first three days of February, the military said. And U.S. soldiers conducting mounted patrols near the Shiite neighborhood came under fire twice last weekend, it said. "The soldiers were not able to positively identify the shooters in either case, and consequently did not return fire in order to avoid harming Iraqi civilians," it said.

#3: Head of Sahwa in 14th of Ramadhan neighbourhood, Mshahda, 15 km to the north of Baghdad City was assassinated by gunmen at around 05:00 pm last night. 2 of his security detail were injured.

#4: A mortar shell hit an orchard in Doura at 04:00 pm. No casualties were reported.

#5: 3 bodies were found in Baghdad by Iraqi Police today. 1 in Slaikh, 1 in Palestine St and 1 in Mansour.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Police found a grave containing eight bodies including three females just north of Baquba, police said.

#2: Clashes between Concerned Local Citizens groups, specifically 1920 Revolution Brigades and Iraqi Police in Tahrir neighbourhood, central Baquba and the town of Buhruz to the south of Baquba, no casualties were reported. The security forces have, however, imposed a curfew in both Baquba and Buhruz until further notice.

#1: In the southern city of Basra, militants killed a Sunni Imam after kidnapping him, his son and another person from his house in the al- Jameiat district, a statement from the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq. Security forces found the Imam's body late Thursday, according to the statement. The Imam's son and the third person were released.

#2: Gunmen kidnapped 4 civilians from al-Sakhra Church, Manawi Basha neighbourhood, central Basra, yesterday evening, said eye witnesses. The 4 Christians are activists in missionary work with the Norwegian Churches Organization who work out of al-Sakhra church, confirms Churches in Southern Iraq official. Basra Police deny any knowledge of the incident.

#1: A bomb in a parked car wounded two policemen in Hawija, 70 km (45 miles) southwest of Kirkuk, police said.

#1: In Kirkuk, some 250 kilometres north of Baghdad, five people were injured Friday when a explosion targeting a patrol was detonated in a vehicle, sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. Sources said the explosion (injured) killed two civilians and three policemen.

#1: Gunmen killed a university student in a bus terminal in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, on Thursday, police said.

Duhok Prv:
#1: Turkish warplanes bombed several targets of the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq on Friday, local sources told Xinhua. The sources said that the Turkish warplanes hit the PKK targets in the regions of Bradost and Hakurk in Duhok province at 13:00 p.m. local time (1100 GMT). The sources also disclosed that some Turkish warplanes flew over Zerge, Maredu, Lewce and Zargel regions in northern Iraq, but did not stage any attacks.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A policeman was kidnapped and 10 others were wounded when gunmen attacked their checkpoint early on Friday near the city of Fallujah, 50 km west of Baghdad, a local police source said. "Dozens of gunmen stormed a checkpoint outside the town of Saglawiyah, 5 km northeast of Fallujah, and clashed with policemen manning the checkpoint," the source old Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#1: One gunman was killed and a policeman was injured on Friday during armed clashes between police forces and unknown gunmen in central Falluja, a police source said."Fierce clashes flared up between five unknown gunmen and a police patrol in al-Muaatasem neighborhood in central Falluja," the source, who asked anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#1: A suicide car bomber targeting an army convoy killed three people on Friday in Afghanistan, witnesses said. The Afghan army convoy was passing along a road in Ghazni town which lies southwest of capital Kabul, they said. Two civilians and one soldier were killed in the attack, which also wounded five more soldiers, they added.

#2: In 2006-2007, 646 (Canadian) soldiers were wounded on Afghan soil, 264 of them in combat against the Taliban. These figures came to light two days after Sun Media questioned the feds over secrecy surrounding the number of Canadian casualties in Afghanistan. On Tuesday, the federal government was still refusing to give statistics, in order to not endanger the operation.