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, February 13, 2008

War News for Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The AP is reporting the death of an Italian soldier in a fire fight some thirty seven miles from Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, February 13. No other details were released. One other soldier was wounded in the attack. The Italian Ministry of defence states the attack was in the Uzeebin valley near the town Rudbar.

Security incidents:

#1: A civilian was injured when a mortar shell hit Shaab police station in Shaab neighborhood north Baghdad around 8:00 am.

#2: The Iraqi army killed three gunmen and arrested 63 others during operations over the last 24 hours in different areas across Iraq, the Defence Ministry said.

#3: Two IED exploded targeting American army convoys in Ur neighborhood and Qanat Street east Baghdad between 1:00 and 1:15 pm. The US army confirmed the news saying that the two explosions caused minor injuries for two soldiers.

#4: Gunmen broke in al Somood primary school in Zafariyah town southeast Baghdad around 2,00 pm. The(y) beat the wife of the guard and hung her three old years son.

#5: Police found three bodies in Baghdad today. The three bodies were found in Rusafa, the eastern side of Baghdad in the following neighborhood (1 body in Fadhil neighborhood and 2 bodied in Waziriyah neighborhood.)

Diyala Prv:
#1: Gunmen opened fire targeting building workers while the workers were in their way to work from Sadiyah town to Himreen town northeast of Baquba city today morning. Five workers were killed and two others were wounded.

#1: Two officers from the former Iraqi army were shot down in Diala's Baaquba city, a local official security source said on Wednesday."Two civilians were mistakenly killed today by U.S. forces in Baaquba city," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq, Voices of Iraq

#1: Police found a head of a civilian in Khalis town north of Baquba.

#1: A joint U.S.-Iraqi force on Wednesday killed a gunman and wounded another one during a security operation in southwestern Kirkuk, said a police source."A police force, backed by U.S. troops, waged a crackdown operation in a village in Riyadh district in southwestern Kirkuk, killing one gunman and injuring another one," the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: An oil leakage cause a fire in an oil pipeline between refineries in Haditha and Baiji, police said.

#1: Local police of Kirkuk found a body of a civilian in Sargaran town northwest of Kirkuk city yesterday night. Police said that the body was shot in the chest.

Al Anbar Prv:
Al Ratba:
#1: The mayor of the city of al-Ratba, Anbar province, on Wednesday survived an attempt on his life at the center of the city, an official source said. "Unknown gunmen launched an armed attack on the motorcade of Qassem Marei al-Kabessi, mayor of the city of al-Ratba, in al-Methaq neighborhood at the center of the city," the source, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq (VOI). "Two of the mayor's bodyguards were injured in the attack," he noted. "The attack, during which automatic weapons were used, lasted for a few minutes," the source also said.

#1: Two civilians were injured on Wednesday when an improvised explosive device went off near the city of Falluja, said a police source."A roadside bomb was detonated this morning near a civilian car on the main road linking between Falluja and Abu Sadeera village, wounding two civilians and damaging the vehicle," the source, who asked to be unnamed, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: Three Afghan soldiers were killed and four wounded when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb Wednesday in the Musa Qala district of northern Helmand province, said Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, the Defense Ministry spokesman.

#2: In eastern Khost province, meanwhile, four Afghan guards working for the U.S. military were killed when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb Tuesday, said Wazir Pacha, a spokesman for the provincial police chief. Another guard was wounded in the blast in the Shinkay district, he said.

#3: An Italian soldier was killed and another one slightly wounded Wednesday in a fire fight in Afghanistan, the Defense Ministry in Rome said. "Armed hostile elements" started shooting at the Italians some 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the capital Kabul while they were engaged in civilian activities and health services, the ministry said in a statement.

Casualty Reports:

SSG Paul "Russ" Marek was serving with the 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq when he the tank he was riding in was destroyed by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device). Three of his crew members perished in the explosion and Russ lost his right leg, right arm, right ear, his left thumb, suffered a brain injury and received severe burns over 20% of his body

U.S. Army Sgt. Caleb Timothy Martin, 22, of Grants received serious injuries to his neck and less critical injuries when the U.S. Army Stryker vehicle carrying him and nine other troops struck a buried explosive device in an area north of Baghdad. The explosion overturned the armored vehicle and left four dead and six injured. Martin is with the Bravo 121st Infantry Division and deployed to Iraq in January from Hawaii. He can wiggle his toes, a sign that the neck injury had not left him paralyzed. Martin suffered a fractured neck vertebra and lesser injuries to two other neck bones. “They had him sitting up today,” his mother said. Silvia Martin said that when she spoke to her son, “He sounded like that Stryker was still on him.” She added that the vehicle blew apart, and she is grateful that Martin did not lose any limbs and has no burns.

Jarrod Bonnick was volunteering as a civilian consultant with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device, or IED. He was severely injured in the Nov. 24 attack and under went surgeries in Iraq and Germany before being flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., for several more surgeries. His injuries included a severed femoral artery, shattered femur, punctured lung, fractured elbow and torn knee ligaments. He also has extensive shrapnel wounds throughout his body.

Eric Hall, 24, was severely wounded by a roadside bomb three years ago when he was on patrol in Fallujah. The explosion tore a piece of flesh the size of a basketball from his left hip, broke the upper bone in his leg and caused nerve damage to his right arm. It also killed a friend in his unit. After extensive treatment, including hospitalization and numerous surgeries at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., his son was making good progress physically, Kevin Hall said.