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, February 18, 2008

War News for Monday, February 18, 2008

The British MoD is reporting the death of a Soldier from 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire from an explosion near Kajaki, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Sunday, February 17th. One other soldier was also injured in the attack. No other details were released.

Security incidents:

#1: U.S forces killed three suspected al Qaeda gunmen and detained five others on Sunday and Monday during operations in central and northern Iraq, the U.S. military said.

#2: Six mortar rounds struck a workers' housing complex near Baghdad's international airport, killing two people and wounding 10, a witness who lives at the compound said. The resident spoke on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.

#3: The western Baghdad neighborhoods of Sadiyah and Amil, which is near the airport, also were hit by mortars or rockets, according to city police officials. One police official said a total of four civilians were killed and 16 wounded in the violence in the capital. He could not provide a more specific breakdown.

#4: Six to 13 rockets also struck the Green Zone on Monday afternoon, but no casualties were reported, according to an Interior Ministry official. All the officials declined to be identified because they weren't authorized to release the information.

#5: The American military, meanwhile, said Camp Victory military base next to the airport was struck by "indirect fire" -- a term it uses for rockets or mortars. "We are aware there are some casualties but damage and casualties are still being assessed," US spokesman Navy Commander Scott Rye told AFP.

The U.S. military said two of its soldiers were also injured when the rockets struck its sprawling Camp Victory base near Baghdad airport and regions nearby, and that six suspects had been taken in for questioning

#6: Police found five bodies in Baghdad today. Three bodies were foun din Rusafa, the eastern side of the Baghdad in the following neighborhood (2 bodies in Fdhiliyah and a body in Sadr city). The other two bodies were found in Doura neighborhood in Karkh, the western side of Baghdad.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Three civilians were wounded on Monday when a booby-trapped car went off south of Baaquba targeting Popular Committees fighters, said an official police source. "A car bomb was detonated in Bahraz district, south of Baaquba, targeting a gathering of the Popular Committees fighters, injuring three civilians,” the source, who asked to remain unnamed, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq

#2: A suicide car bomb targeted the office of the local committees in Shams village south of Baquba city around 12:00 pm. No casualties were reported.

#1: Twp members of the guards of Sheikh Abdul Kareem Khalaf al Nidawi were injured when a suicide car bomb attacked the house of the sheikh in Mandili town, 70 Kms northeast Baquba city today afternoon.

Kan Bani Saad:
#1: Gunmen killed three neighbourhood patrol policemen and wounded three others in an attack targeting their base in the town of Kan Bani Saad, 35 km (20 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Gunmen killed one man and wounded another in a drive-by shooting on Sunday in Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

Babel Prv:
#1: The Babel provincial council vice chairman was wounded in a quarrel with the guards of the city's court of appeal on Monday and was taken to a hospital, a police source in the province said. "A quarrel occurred between Dr. Niema Jassem, who was entering the court of appeal in the city, and the guards of the court," the source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI) ."The court guards assaulted Jassem, breaking his right arm and causing him bruises in other parts of his body," the source said, adding "Jassem was taken to a hospital while the guards were kept under investigative custody."

#1: A police officer from the internal affairs department survived unscathed an attempt on his life in central Basra on Monday while three of his guards were wounded, an official police source in Basra said. "Unidentified gunmen in a vehicle opened drive-by fire at Capt. Muhammad Nouri, an officer in the internal affairs department, in central Basra," the source, who refused to have his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: Maj. Nahi Khalaf Ahmad was killed when a roadside bomb detonated before noon outside his house in central the capital city of Tikrit, 170 km north of Baghdad, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Three people were also wounded by the blast that caused damages to nearby houses and civilian cars, he said.

#1: Separately, an Iraqi police force teamed up with fighters from an Awakening Council group and raided on Sunday night al-Qaida hideouts in the open area of the al-Jallam, just east of Samarra City, some 120 km north of Baghdad, Mazin Younis, head of the Awakening group in the city, told Xinhua. During the raid the police and the Awakening Council fighters had sporadic clashes with some militant groups, which resulted in the killing of an insurgent who was wearing an explosive vest and the detention of two others, Younis said.

#1: In other violence Monday, a roadside bombing in the northwestern city of Mosul killed three civilians and wounded four others, police said. The city is what the U.S. describes as the last major urban stronghold of al-Qaida in Iraq.

#2: One civilian was killed on Monday by unknown gunmen in northern Mosul, an official source said. "Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a civilian, who owns an internet cafĂ©, in al-Majmouaa al-Thaqafiya region in northern Mosul, killing him on the spot," the source, who wished not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Two civilians were killed and another wounded in a blast that occurred inside a store selling electrical appliances in central Hit, 70 km west of Ramadi, on Monday, a security source said. "The store owner was killed and his son wounded. Another civilian who happened to be inside the store at the time was killed," the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI) on condition of anonymity.

#1: Police patrols on Monday found two unknown corpses in the city of Ramadi, a police source said. "A police patrol found two bodies thrown on the international road in western Ramadi," the source told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq

#1: It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that a soldier from the 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment was killed in southern Afghanistan yesterday, Sunday 17 February 2008. One other soldier was also injured in the incident but his injuries are not life threatening. Just before 2100 hrs local time soldiers from the 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, as part of their Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) role, were taking part in a foot patrol with 40 Commando Royal Marines near Kajaki, Helmand Province, when they were caught in an explosion.

#2: A suicide bomber targeting a foreign military convoy in Afghanistan killed 37 civilians in an attack near the Pakistan border on Monday, the interior ministry said. The attack happened on a narrow bridge in the bustling town of Spin Boldak in southern Kandahar province, a stronghold for Taliban insurgents fighting the Afghan government and its Western backers. Kandahar's governor Assadullah Kahlid told a news conference the bomber was in a car and had attacked a convoy of Canadian troops serving under NATO's command. Four Canadians were wounded, he said. But another official from the area said two foreign soldiers also died.

A suicide car bomber targeting a Canadian military convoy left three Canadian soldiers wounded at at least 37 civilians were killed. The bombing occured at a busy market in southern Afghanistan. The Canadian military released few details initially, saying only that no Canadians were killed.

#3: update An Afghan governor says the death toll from a suicide bombing in Kandahar province has risen to more than 100. Kandahar Gov. Asadullah Khalid told a mosque filled with mourners Monday that he had warned the militia commander who was the target of Sunday's attack that bombers were trying to kill him. The suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd of men and boys watching a dog fighting competition.