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 20, 2008

War News for Wednesday, February 20, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the deaths of three Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldiers in a roadside bombing in an northwestern neighborhood of Baghdad on Monday, February 19th.

Security incidents:

#1: A dust storm that has gripped much of Iraq for the last two days kept police from identifying a booby trap that set off the initial explosion, he said. The storms, which shut down the capital's airport and sent dozens of Baghdad residents to hospitals with breathing difficulties, were expected to abate Thursday.

Heavy sandstorms blanketed much of Iraq for a second day Wednesday, shutting down the capital's airport and sending dozens of Baghdad residents to hospitals with breathing difficulties. Southern Basra was also affected, as was the northern city of Kirkuk.

#2: In yet more violence, Samir al-Attar, deputy minister of Iraq's Ministry of Science and Technology, was wounded Wednesday when two roadside bombs detonated near his convoy about a minute apart as he was driving through Baghdad, according to police and ministry officials. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't allowed to release the information.

Two of al-Attar's guards and three civilian bystanders were injured, the officials said on condition of anonymity, as they were not authorized to release the information.

#3: Three Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers were killed at approximately 10:30 p.m. Feb. 19 when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in northwestern Baghdad.

#4: Two civilians were injured on Wednesday when an explosive charge went off in central Baghdad, a police source said. “An improvised explosive device went off near al-Shaab international Stadium in central Baghdad, wounding two civilians,” the source, who wished to remain anonymous, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq

#5: Around 1 p.m., a car bomb was parked at the main street of Ghazaliyah neighborhood ( in west Baghdad) near the Kamal market. One civilian was killed and two were injured.

#6: Five Katyusha rockets on Wednesday afternoon fell onto Baghdad International Airport west of the Iraqi capital, an Interior Ministry source said."Five Katyusha rockets fell onto Baghdad International Airport, this afternoon, with no reports of casualties," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq. The source added that the U.S. forces sealed off all the routes leading to the airport which also used by the U.S. troops as a base.

#7: Police found 4 dead bodies in Baghdad today : two were found in Saidiyah in Karkh bank while the other two were found in Risafa bank; 1 in Baladiyat and 1 in Waziriyah .

#8: Neighbourhood police killed two al Qaeda operatives at a checkpoint by firing on their minibus as they tried to transport explosives around northern Baghdad, causing the bombs to detonate, the U.S. military said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Tuesday night, a roadside bomb was exploded killing the man who was planting it .The incident took place at Shuhada neighborhood in Jalwla of Khanaqeen ( 94 km north east Baquaba).

#1: Ten people were killed when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a market near the restive city of Baquba north of Baghdad on Wednesday, an Iraqi army officer said. "A suicide bomber wearing an explosives belt blew himself up in the market of Muqdadiyah, killing at least 10 people and wounding 15 others," General Ragheb al-Omayri told AFP.

#1: Two persons from Kerala were killed in a missile attack in Basra, Iraq earlier this week. They were working for a Kuwaiti firm supplying provisions to United States forces in Iraq, according to reports reaching here. The attack reportedly took place Monday night and claimed three lives including that of a Sri Lankan national. The two persons, hailing from Kerala, were identified as Sureshan, 41, from Payyoli near Kozhikode and T.K. Muhammad Sali, 38, from Padanna in Kasargode district. Sali, who had come home on leave a month back, was working as a driver in the company. Sureshan’s relatives said he planned to leave Kuwait for home on Feb 21.

#1: Two would-be suicide bombers wearing explosives vests were killed by members of a neighbourhood security patrol as they tried to approach their checkpoint on Tuesday in the city of Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A mortar attack on a U.S. base in Iraq killed three children playing soccer nearby, the U.S. military said on Wednesday. Seven other youngsters were also hurt in Tuesday's attack on the base near Balad, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad.

#1: Two Iraqi soldiers and two civilians were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near an Iraqi army patrol near the town of Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Three policemen were injured on Wednesday in a bomb explosion near their vehicle patrol east of Dalouiya, a police source said“A roadside bomb was detonated targeting a police vehicle patrol near Peshiktin village, east of Dalouiya, wounding three policemen,” the source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

Tuz Khormato:
#1: Unknown gunmen on Wednesday abducted two civilians near the predominantly Turcomans district of Tuz Khormato, north of Baghdad, a police source said."The gunmen kidnapped the civilians while they were leaving their village of Yankajah on the highway linking Baghdad to Kirkuk," the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq

Ninevah Prv:
#1: In other violence in Iraq, four policemen were killed while on patrol in the main northern city of Mosul, a police officer said.

Gunmen killed three policemen and wounded three others when they attacked their patrol in a drive-by shooting in the city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: A Multi-National Division - North Soldier was killed as a result of injuries sustained from a rocket propelled grenade attack while conducting patrols in Mosul Feb. 20. Three Soldiers were also wounded and transported to a Coalition medical facility for treatment.

Tal Afar:
#1: And a suicide bomber blew up his vehicle in the town of Tal Afar, which lies west of Mosul towards the Syrian border, killing one woman and wounding eight other people, General Najim al-Juburi and doctor at the local hospital said.

Northern Iraq (Dahuk? Irbil?)
#1: Turkish jets flew special missions over northern Iraq on Wednesday to harass the PKK militants holed up in the region. The jets did not bomb any areas but flew over suspected PKK hideouts, military sources said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: U.S. forces searching for al Qaeda in Iraq fighters on Tuesday discovered 16 bodies, most killed within the past three to six months, U.S. Army officials said. The bodies were uncovered as troops searched an abandoned industrial chemical storage site in the western Iraqi desert. A 3-day-old operation in pursuit of al Qaeda in Iraq yielded signs of insurgent activity, but no fighters.

#2: At least one civilian was seriously injured on Wednesday when a car bomb exploded in a market near Falluja city, 45 km west of Baghdad, a police source said. "The car bomb that was parked near al-Ikhaa market in Amiriyat al-Falluja exploded leaving a civilian seriously injured," the source, who asked to be unnamed, Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq

#3: A detainee died Wednesday after being transported to a coalition medical facility, the U.S. military said. The detainee was taken to the facility on Tuesday for medical assistance and died the next day, according to a statement. The cause of death was under investigation. The brief statement provided no other details and did not give a location for the death, but it was released by the U.S. military in western Iraq.

#1: Militants have abducted two staff of education department in Afghanistan's western Farah province, said a press release of Afghan Interior Ministry received here Wednesday. Two supervisors of the Education Department of Farah province, busy in visiting schools in Bakwa district, was kidnapped by armed men of militant leader Mullah Ibrahim, on Feb. 18, the ministry said.

#2: A journalist who brought news to Canadian television has been detained without charge at a U.S. base in Afghanistan for almost four months, his employer says, calling for his immediate release. Javed Yazamy, 22, earned the nickname Jojo while serving as a translator for the U.S. forces but spent the past two years working primarily for CTV News in Kandahar. He went missing in October when an unknown caller summoned him to Kandahar Air Field and foreign soldiers captured him in the dusty parking lot just outside the main gate.

#3: At least five rockets hit an airport in northern Afghanistan, where NATO-led German military forces are based, but caused no casualties, provincial governor said on Wednesday. The rockets, which were fired from southern part of Kunduz city, the provincial capital of the same name, late Tuesday, Engineer Mohammad Omar told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. He said that all rockets, that were fired by timing devices from Charhar Darah district of the province, landed in open areas within Kunduz airport, causing no damage or casualties.

Casualty Reports:

Chris York injured Dec. 15 in Iraq. He shipped out to Kirkuk, Iraq, last May and expected to be there until about August serving with the U.S. Army. "All we know is he was in a turret in a Humvee," said his grandmother, Karen York. The vehicle either hit a land mine or was struck by some other kind of explosive device. "They removed his spleen, one kidney, part of his stomach, part of his intestine."

Sgt. Joshua Gutierrez of the 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas, was on patrol near Osut, Iraq, searching for missing U.S. soldiers on June 18, 2006, . Around midnight, in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, Gutierrez unknowingly drove over a bomb, it exploded, and his Bradley caught fire. “I was unconscious about twenty seconds,” he said. “The guys in the cargo area got out. After I came to my senses, I tried getting out too, but my leg was already pretty much amputated. There was so much going on. My gunner pulled me out, and they got me away before the ammo and fuel blew (everything) up.” Doctors completed the below-the-knee amputation of his right leg, he had a mild traumatic brain injury, and he had three broken bones in his left leg. In succession, he needed medical care in Iraq, Germany, Texas, and San Diego.

Sgt. Andrew Parmley he felt his body forced backward and his left arm go numb. His weapon remained strapped to his chest in firing position, but in a split second, Parmley’s role had shifted from fighting soldier and combat medic to battlefield casualty. He looked down at his useless left arm. “My whole sleeve was bloody,” he said. Although the pain in his arm was “off the scale” and he wondered if it would eventually need to be amputated, he remembers feeling grateful to be alive. The bullet entered his upper arm and traveled through — damaging his ulnar nerve but missing the bone. On that late December morning, Parmley and his platoon had been on a routine mission in the farming community of Arab Jabour — an area south of Baghdad plagued with pockets of Al Qaeda militants.